IT'S the missile you never see coming, but causes a big mess when it hits.
Dealing with pest birds such as pigeons and starlings has been an ongoing challenge for Central West councils, who are taking a variety of measures.
Orange and Bathurst councils have been taking recent action against pigeons - Orange by trapping and Bathurst by shooting.
Pigeons have been calling Orange City Council's chambers, theatre and library home and council spokesman Allan Reeder said a number of measures had been put in place to deter them and keep numbers down.
"There been moderate success but it's going to be a long-term project," he said.
"Sometimes the effectiveness of a strategy wears off after a while, so different approaches need to be rotated."
He said the council had been using a contractor to trap birds roosting on the roofs, as well as bird spikes over doorways, but was considering other moves such as laying electrical tape in roosting areas.
"That doesn't reduce total number, but encourages the birds to go somewhere else," he said.
"One new option to be researched is whether it's worthwhile installing a system which would spray ozone gas intermittently - it's a harmless gas which aims to makes the location unpleasant for pigeons."
Bathurst Regional Council has taken a far more absolute approach, shooting pigeons around CBD and town square buildings, taking out 2587 birds since 2013.
After spending almost $50,000 since that time to address the problem, mayor Graeme Hanger said the council was satisfied with the level of control needed to maintain the population at lower levels.
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"Council engages contractors that employ high standards and operate in a safe environment," he said.
"All activities are undertaken safely and no complaints have been received since this method was first used."
But for Dubbo Regional Council, starlings have been the far larger problem.
European starlings have been roosting in the street trees along Macquarie Street for the past couple of years, but mayor Ben Shields brought the matter to the fore recently, saying the area looked and smelled "atrocious".
A spokeswoman said the council considered the matter in April, agreeing to prune the nettle trees along the street.
"This work will be commencing in the coming weeks," she said.
"Council agreed the increased level of cleaning in Macquarie Street in response to the heightened bird splatter continue whilst working to achieve efficiencies in model design."
Council requested that investigations in relation to the installation of lights in the trees and other deterrents such as anti-bird roosting spikes be explored for the known Starling issue areas in the CBD.
WIRES urges more care for vulnerable flying foxes
WHILE some moves have been made to move on flying fox populations from public parks, WIRES has urged residents to this of the vulnerable mammals when they go about their daily business.
WIRES volunteer Queenie Green said volunteers rescued a couple of bats a week during roosting times and while orchardists were generally careful to buy bat-friendly netting, households were not always so aware when it came to their backyard fruit trees.
"If your pinky finger can get through, it's not the right netting," she said.
Ms Green said larger holes meant flying foxes became stuck in the netting and often injured themselves fatally trying to get out because their bodies were so fragile.
"They rip themselves up because they're panicked," she said.
"They roll themselves up in the netting and either suffocate themselves or they break their delicate wings."
Ms Green said discarded fishing line left on river banks could also injure them and rehabilitation was also a challenge because bat hospitals could only take them at certain times of the year.
"We have to be careful of their migratory patterns, you can't release them in the middle of winter," she said.
She said WIRES volunteers had attended to flying foxes in Orange's Cook Park and Bathurst's Machattie Park, particularly during hot weather when they dropped from the trees - up to 60 per cent of the population succumbed earlier this year.
"We lost so many last summer, every one is precious," she said.
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