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Paris hires falcons to beat pigeon plague

A Paris district is hiring five birds of prey to try and scare off gangs of pigeons whose poo is causing damage of around €150,000 a year to apartment blocks.

Paris hires falcons to beat pigeon plague
AFP
Three buzzards and two falcons will swoop in for 10 days in October to try and disperse the unusually large concentration of pigeons wreaking havoc on the roofs and window ledges of social housing complexes in the 10th arrondissement.
 
The area in question is around the Rue du Buisson Saint-Louis, whose residents are fed up with the constant presence of the birds which can also carry disease.
 
“We tried traditional methods and now we are doing something more radical,” a spokesman for the town hall of the 10th arrondissement told The Local.
 
“Paris pigeons are not used to birds of prey,” he said, which the town hall hopes will make the plan a success.
 
The plan is for the buzzards and the falcons to fly high over where the pigeons like to congregate and, by striking fear into their avian hearts, force them to move elsewhere. 
 
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The company supplying the falcons also keep pigeons at bay during Roland Garros. AFP
 
So as not to frighten the human population, the raptors and their keepers will be presented at a public meeting in the local town hall on September 30th. 
 
The birds of prey will then be unleashed at a later date. The cost of the operation is €12 800, officials said.
 
Merlyn, the firm based in the Pyrenees mountains that is providing the raptors, also supplies birds of prey to keep pigeons at bay for the annual Roland Garros tennis tournament in Paris.
 
Its says its birds all have “several years of experience” in scaring off unwanted creatures.
 
“The presence of our birds of prey causes insecurity for animal nuisances of all sorts (which will) naturally seek a safer place that is without danger,” it claims on its website.

TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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