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Acting on complaint, Frederick shoos birds

Tuesday - 7/17/2012, 6:00am  ET

Big bangs for bothersome birds

WTOP's David Burd reports.

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Frederick activated its bird-scare program this week on a quiet tree- lined street in the Hillcrest area that reportedly has a bird problem.

Through Friday, the Department of Public Works is shooting a bird gun on Split Rail Lane, where feathered friends have become a nuisance. Frederick City workers are shooting two rounds from a firearm commonly referred to as a bird banger.

The first round is shot at sundown and the second round about 20 minutes later, according to Eva Cosner, a supervisor for public works.

"This is the first complaint," she said Monday during a telephone interview.

Cosner keeps track of bird complaints for the city. So far this year, only one resident has filed a complaint, but that was enough for the city to take action.

"They will fly away and tend to fly back," Cosner said, explaining why the department shoots multiple rounds.

The city takes action only when a resident complains about birds in trees in public right-of-way. Birds on private property are not a city problem, Cosner said.

Residents file about a dozen bird complaints a year, but only half are related to city trees, Cosner said. The other half are on private property.

The bird-scare program is in cooperation with the state department of agriculture's wildlife division. The offending birds are typically starlings and crows, according to a news release. Shooting a bird gun can only provide temporary relief, Cosner said.

To make a bird complaint, call 301-600-1440.