In Singapore, I’m sure most of us can relate to the presence of unwanted birds around us.
Besides the koel bird (I can already hear it awoo-ing), a familiar sight for some is pigeons.
… Which defecate all over areas, such as the ledges outside Housing Development Board (HDB) units used to hold the air-conditioner generators.
And it seems like residents at 467A and B Fernvale Link in Sengkang are no strangers to such sights.
Hence, in an attempt to prevent such unsightly and unsanitary incidents from happening again, the town council in the area installed anti-bird netting a while back.
However, this only made matters worse for some: Apart from some residents being upset that the town council installed the netting without the residents’ agreement, the pigeons have now flown to different parts of their units.
In particular, they have flown to the living room and room walls, which I’m sure isn’t exactly a great experience for anyone, even if you’re a big fan of nature.
And here’s what the frustrated residents have had to say about their not-very-(coo)l situation. (Get it? Because pigeons go “coo”.)
“Town Council Should Seek Approval from Residents First”
When speaking to Shin Min Daily News, private hire car driver Mr Chen (Hanyu pinyin) shared that the town council had initially installed anti-bird netting that covered the entire area where residents hang their laundry out to dry as well as the ledge that holds the air-conditioning generators.
Eventually, they removed the netting at the laundry-hanging area and only kept it at the ledge.
However, the installation of netting at the pigeons’ “usual spots” caused them to move and fly to other places of residents’ homes instead, which is why Mr Chen believes that the town council should seek residents’ approval before installing such netting.
Residents’ Opinions: Netting is Beneficial
On the other hand, many other residents that Shin Min interviewed yesterday (12 December) morning expressed that the anti-bird netting that the town council installed has benefited them.
In particular, a 78-year-old called Mr Wu (Hanyu pinyin) has been staying at his current unit for six years and revealed that he found pigeons creating a nest in his generator when the air conditioners in his house underwent repair work.
So far, he has found that the anti-bird netting has yielded positive results over the past month or so since it was first installed.
Similarly, another resident, Mrs Zhang (Hanyu pinyin), said that the town council should also cover the area where laundry is hung to dry with anti-bird netting.
According to her, bird droppings always end up on her laundry after she hangs it out to dry, as bird infestation has become an increasingly prominent issue over the years.
As a result, she has to redo her laundry, making it very troublesome.
On the other hand, a 77-year-old lady named Mrs Cai (Hanyu pinyin) agreed that anti-bird netting should be installed but added that other residents’ opinions should also be respected.
She also revealed that representatives from the relevant authorities conducted house visits a few days ago to record residents’ opinions of the anti-bird netting.
Other Problems May Arise; Netting is Not the Most Effective Solution
Another resident who declined to be named pointed out that the anti-bird netting does not look aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
Additionally, he expressed his concern over the netting catching fire if residents throw their cigarette butts down after smoking.
Apart from that, it seems like there might be another cause as to why the area sees so many pigeons around.
The resident revealed that he has noticed residents from Block 467B feeding the pigeons, which he believes exacerbates the situation even further.
He also emphasised that the relevant authorities should solve this main issue first.
Town Council’s Response
When contacted by Shin Min, the Ang Mo Kio Town Council pointed out that they decided to install the anti-bird netting as part of the area’s restoration and refurbishment works after a resident suggested it as a possible solution to decrease the negative impact of pigeons on their surroundings.
There were multiple meetings with the town council members and several residents to try and improve the situation surrounding the pigeons in the area.
The town council also explained that they also decided to have a zipper in the netting to allow residents to carry out maintenance work for their air-conditioning after learning that some residents had concerns about the netting.
Additionally, the anti-bird netting doesn’t just deter birds from flying. It can also serve as a precaution that prevents items thrown from higher floors from landing on the air-conditioning generator ledge of other residents, reducing the amount of rubbish residents have to deal with.
The town council then assured that they would continue to work with residents and relevant authorities, such as the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) under the National Parks Board, if they find out that the pigeons cause other problems.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News
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