The humble starling is causing uproar on its annual migration south, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers.
A modest bird, measuring less than 8 inches, the starling doesn’t fly alone – it travels with hundreds of thousands of others forming vast, dark, swirling clouds in the sky.
The people of Rome have had enough of their fall visitors. The birds’ droppings damage the ancient city’s architectural wonders, and lead to unwanted laundry bills. There’s also the question of noise. Starlings, it is said, have the ability to mimic not only the calls of other birds, but also the sounds of machines.
So the Romans are fighting back. They’re releasing hawks to scare the visitors off, and shouting at them through megaphones.
Annoying the starlings may be, but they are undoubtedly spectacular.
Check out the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s picture gallery, and look out especially for the swarms of birds that resemble an approaching tornado, an Easter bunny and a giant ray.