Dublin City Council to monitor spread of fake birds

Councillor says kites used to scare gulls rooftops undermine the skyline of the city

Dublin City Council will monitor the spread of fake birds on city rooftops amid concerns that the devices, designed to scare gulls, may contravene planning rules.

Kites and other devices which have the appearance of raptors have started to appear on rooftops recently to scare away other birds such as pigeons and gulls that some consider a nuisance.

But Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn has asked the city council to prepare a report concerning planning legislation and the placement of bird-scaring kites on buildings.

“The city rooftops and skyline is fast becoming dominated by these devices in order to stop seagulls and other birds from nesting and soiling the roofs of many offices, shops and houses,” said Mr Flynn. “This can undermine the skyline of the city and cityscape which is protected by planning law.”


In response, the council said the planning acts made no specific reference to bird scaring kites either in terms of exemption or otherwise.

“Therefore… each case will be dealt with on its own merits to determine whether or not such a feature would ‘materially affect the external appearance of the structure so as to render the appearance inconsistent with the character of the main structure or neighbouring structures’.

Dublin City Council south east area committee manager Rose Kenny said "since [the fake birds] would appear to be a recent innovation, with which we are unfamiliar; I would request that any evidence demonstrating their proliferation should be submitted for consideration.

In response to a query from the Irish Times, the city council said “the situation will be monitored and any evidence of proliferation will be reviewed”.

It is also possible that many of the fake birds would have taken flight, not to return, during the course of ex-hurricane Ophelia.

Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin is an Irish Times journalist