Rome street covered in dead birds after New Year fireworks

Deaths of birds occurred during Rome fireworks for New Year.

Hundreds of dead birds covered a central Rome street in the aftermath of last night's fireworks for New Year.

The birds, believed to be starlings, were found at the Termini train station end of Via Cavour by a motorist who posted footage of the disturbing scene on YouTube.

The disorientated birds, startled by the explosions, are thought to have died after flying into windows and high voltage electricity cables just after midnight.

The incident has led the Italian branch of the International Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA) to call for a ban on the sale of fireworks for private use. Loredana Diglio of the OIPA suggested that the birds "died from fear."

"They can fly up together and knock against each other, or hit windows or electric power lines" - Diglio said - "Let’s not forget they can also die of heart attacks."

The incident occurred amid a New Year firework ban which was completely ignored, as in previous years, leading to numerous cases of terrorised dogs running away from their homes.

Many people have asked how the incident could have occurred this year and not in previous years.

The Italian league for bird protection (LIPU) told local media that over the last few years the numbers of starlings in the centre of Rome has decreased significantly, in large part due to the city's “distress call” campaign, an amplified alarm that mimics a call of danger used by starlings in the wild.

Over the last two years, on New Year's Eve, there were few or no starlings roosting in the Termini station area. However this year the city did not undertake its annual campaign to move the birds away, LIPU says, and the starlings returned to the centre in large numbers.

LIPU also stated that similar incidents involving the deaths of birds during New Year fireworks occurred in 2003 and 2010, when there were high numbers of starlings roosting in the area.

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Address Via Cavour, Roma RM, Italy

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Rome street covered in dead birds after New Year fireworks

Via Cavour, Roma RM, Italy