Yishun residents fed up with feathered pests

Yishun residents fed up with feathered pests

For the last eight years, Yishun resident Amy Low, 55, has not had a good night's sleep.

The hundreds of birds that roost in the trees outside her sixth-storey flat chirp noisily, even at 3am.

Residents there have lived with the noise for about 10 years. They also often find their freshly-washed clothes soiled by bird droppings, have to pick up feathers from their flats and even have to avoid walking past open-air carparks.

You would have to be a bit of a nature lover to be happy living at Blocks 107 to 109, Yishun Ring Road.

There are many trees facing these blocks and they are home to hundreds of barn swallows.

Residents have complained about the noise and bird droppings to the Nee Soon Town Council, but the town council told The New Paper it was not an easy problem to solve.

The town council has been battling the birds for years, but no solution has been found because the birds have proven to be very resilient.

TNP visited the area both in the morning and in the evening two weeks ago.

The birds fly off at about 7am daily and return at about 7pm. While it can be a majestic sight, seeing them fly in formation, the noise they make is anything but soothing for some residents.

Madam Low, a housewife, said in Mandarin: "My sleep is often disturbed by the chirping. It's really annoying. Every time a car goes by at night, the birds would make noise."

Yishun Ring Road has been home to hundreds of these migratory birds for more than 10 years.

'DISGUSTING'

Madam Ng Soo, 63, a housewife who lives on the seventh storey of Block 108, said in Mandarin: "I'm most worried about the bird droppings. It's really quite disgusting. My clothes are hanging right in front of the tree, so I never feel clean."

A large tree grows right up to Madam Soo's kitchen windows, so close that she claims she is almost able to touch the leaves before they are pruned.

She said: "I can always see a lot of white stuff on the leaves and branches. I'm worried the wind may blow all the germs into my home, so I often close the windows, even when I'm cooking. It gets very hot."

Madam Soo has lived in her ­­three-room flat for more than 30 years.

Because the birds leave droppings on the parapet, she washes her parapet at least three times a week.

Ms Clara Tan, 33, a housewife who lives on the fourth storey of Block 101, said: "I think it (the bird droppings) are very unhygienic, especially for my kids."

Ms Tan said that she regularly finds birds droppings on her laundry that she hangs outside.

"Not only is it tiring and time-consuming to re-wash my clothes, my utilities bill also increases." she said.

However, there are residents who appreciate being able to live so close to nature.

Said Mr Han Koh Juan, who lives on the eighth storey of Block 107: "I don't think it's a very big issue. Why can't we learn to live in harmony with them?"

The 76-year-old has been living in his four-room flat for more than 30 years.

"We humans were the ones who took away their homes first - it's our fault," he added.

Mr Han also said that living with the birds does have its benefits.

"When it's about to rain, the birds start making noise, so we know it's time to bring in our clothes hanging outside," he said.

Mr Suhaimi, 57, a retiree who lives on the seventh storey of Block 107, agreed.

He said: "The birds are like my alarm clock. Every evening at about 7pm, they'll start chirping and I know it's time for my Muslim prayers.

"I think the best solution is for us to learn to live with the birds and appreciate them."

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