'Anti-Bird' Spikes Ruffle Neighborhood’s Feathers

Wealthy residents in Bristol, England, have put up "bird spikes" on trees to prevent droppings from landing on their expensive cars. Not everyone is thrilled about it.

Wealthy residents in Bristol, England, have attached spikes to trees in an effort to reduce the number of bird droppings hitting their cars below. But not everyone is happy with their methods.

The spikes, which serve the purpose of preventing birds from nesting in otherwise dangerous areas (such as building ledges), are being criticized by several individuals for being “anti-bird.” Indeed, the images of the spikes on tree branches around the neighborhoods appear to be drastically uncalled for, and some people have described the spikes as a “war on wildlife.”

An anonymous resident of the neighborhood confirmed to The Independent that the spikes were put in tree branches for the sole reason of protecting the cars below from droppings.

“There is a big problem with bird droppings around here,” they said. “They can really make a mess of cars, and for some reason the birds do seem to congregate around this area.”

Other methods were tried, including using dummy birds to “scare off” the smaller birds, “but that didn't seem to do anything,” the resident said.

Local Green Party councilor Paula O’Rourke, who has witnessed the spikes, said she was upset about the efforts to curtail wildlife from using the trees.

“I’m aware that the landowner might be legally within their rights to do this to the trees as they seem to be on private land,” O’Rourke said. “... Whether allowed or not though, it looks awful, and it’s a shame to see trees being literally made uninhabitable to birds — presumably for the sake of car parking.”

The issue over ownership rights of the trees is a tricky one to mull over, and it’s likely to generate a robust debate among the citizens of Bristol. However, the over-the-top means that some of the wealthier residents have taken in order to protect their vehicles from bird droppings is absurd.

Birds exist in nature and in our cities, and whether we like it or not, sometimes they inadvertently target our vehicles with less-than-ideal “gifts from above.” The wealthy should not consider themselves exempt from that reality. 

Banner / Thumbnail : Gleb Garanich/Reuters  

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