Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rossmoor Woodpecker Massacre a Go

By Chris Thompson
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 10:05 AM

You may have heard that woodpeckers in Rossmoor, the vast retirement community near Walnut Creek, have been drilling holes in the homes of residents and generally being a nuisance. Community leaders have tried scaring the little critters away with robot spiders and recordings of predators horribly devouring woodpeckers, but these are some wily birds, and they know when they're being scammed. Finally, two of Rossmoor's housing associations voted to hire a sharpshooter to wander around the golf courses and splatter 50 of the feathered folks against the aluminum siding. This prompted an outcry from the Audubon Society and others who begged them to reconsider. But yesterday, one of the housing associations decided to kill the birds after all. This, the Chron reports has left Rossmoor spokeswoman Maureen O'Rourke dismayed at the P.R. problems, but it could be worse. In Franklin Township, New Jersey last week, thousands of dead starlings plunged to the earth after the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to poison the birds, but forgot to tell the neighbors. Thousands of people in Franklin Township watched as dead birds hit their roofs and bounced off their front lawns, fearing that a strange plague or vengeful God had come to town. Now, that's a public relations problem.

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