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Blackbirds overrun Ky. town

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - People in one Western Kentucky city are coping with an unusual problem. An abundance of blackbirds has shown up in Hopkinsville, and they're creating a rather nasty situation. The unpleasant visit may also be creating a big health concern.

The Audubon Society is calling it a blackbird invasion. This year, they say, the birds are just not flying far enough south, creating a nuisance for neighbors.

"They're paying pest control to use air cannons to try to break up the roost. It repulses the birds, and tries to drive them out of the areas they're roosting in," explained one neighbor, "they've tried everything - the bombs and the noise makers" but to everyone in the area, it seems nothing will make them move.

The droppings the birds leave behind can cause concern to people's health. Histoplasmosis is a fungus that infects the lungs, can be deadly for pets, and can make people sick. It grows as a mold in soil, and dirt that contains bird droppings can have far greater amounts of the fungus. Several years ago, it infected nearly 300 trees at a memorial for soldiers killed in a plane crash. The city had to cut the trees down. Now the problem's back in Hopkinsville, bringing with it a dark cloud every day at dusk.

"It's just thousands and thousands of them," described Hopkinsville resident Bob Haile.

The Audubon Society expects the birds to migrate north in three to four weeks.


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