Bird-Brained Plan Kills Wrong Flock in Jersey

About 30 blackbirds were too quick to eat some poisoned corn

By Brian Thompson
|  Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009  |  Updated 5:31 PM EDT
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Bird-Brained Plan Kills Wrong Flock in Jersey

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You could say Ft. Lee officials have 'egg on their faces' after an effort to disperse a large flock of pigeons went awry.

 "Horrible," was the word used by nearby office worker Andreana Cantell, who saw several blackbirds struggling on the ground and even a car's windshield.

Ft. Lee Health Official Stephen Wielkocz made the decision to spread corn laced with a poison called Avitrol on Monday, in an effort to get rid of a large flock of more than 100 pigeons that had been, well, flocking around Borough Hall the past two months, and bombarding Borough cars with their droppings.

But about 30 blackbirds saw the corn first, and paid the price for their hunger.

"We didn't accomplish anything," Wielkocz admitted, quickly adding "I'm a vegetarian. I do not believe in killing or even eating animals."

But other town employees, anonymously, said they were furious with him, and still upset over seeing the dieing birds all over the Borough parking lot. They even handed out a website printout from the Humane Society detailing the toxicity of Avitrol.

The dead blackbirds were picked up and disposed of. As for the pigeons, Wielkocz admitted he's calling off the offensive and can only hope now that cold weather will send them somewhere else.

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