Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Hate Birds and I Cannot Lie (Part II)

The other night I remembered another freakish bird story to add to my list. (continuation of post from 2/10/2009)

8. Birds and Lakes (part 2, 2006). 
Anyone who may have visited Lake Eola in downtown Orlando (prior to 2006) will likely be familiar with Bird Island (aka. "poop island") - a cluster of trees on a small strip of land that had become home to the many ibis, anhinga, egrets and small herons that visited the lake daily. The island was quite a sight to see, hear and smell. Over time, the branches of every tree became completely covered in a smorgasbord of bird droppings. The odor was so unbelievably offensive that anyone walking by would have to cover their noses and pick up the pace, in search of fresh air. My co-workers and I used to do laps around the lake regularly and as we would approach the island, we would inhale huge gasps of air and hold our breath as we scurried by. It was dreadful. 

Finally, it was discovered that the excessive amount of bird droppings were polluting the water, and the City decided to take action. In a desperate attempt to save the fish (and protect the poor nostrils and lungs of local joggers and park enthusiasts from the vile stench), they removed some of the trees on the island. Little did they know of the horror that would result from this decision.

The birds promptly sought refuge along the tree line streets in the immediate area, particularly on Central Avenue. Within 24 hours, on street parking had become a complete and utter nightmare for local residents, lunch goers and businessmen. Cars parked along Central were being completely covered in bird poo, benches that were once frequented by picnickers and panhandlers now sat abandoned, pedestrian traffic all but came to a halt along the street, and the stench was even more overwhelming than ever. The scene was so bad that the city actually had to post signs in the area, which read "Entering Bird Dropping Area." City workers were forced to pressure wash a stretch of sidewalk in the area, at least twice a week.

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