A ROW has erupted between neighbours after one of them filled their garden with statues to scare away birds.
Jeff Williams, from Poole, Dorset, says Jane and Keith Morse, are keeping winged visitors away from his garden with the bird of prey replicas.
The couple, though, insist that they can have what they like in their own garden and that there are any number of reasons why birds might not be around at this time of year.
They suggest an unusually hot summer and a recent bout of bird flu as possible factors.
Furious, Jeff told the Bournemouth Echo: "My neighbour brought in no less than five bird of prey replicas. There is an awful lot of upset from residents about this. All the garden birds have been driven away.
"We already didn’t have many birds in our area before this, but what did come here have been driven away by the decoys."
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He added that the move was similar to putting a "fierce" bulldog in the garden to scare away cats.
The ornaments are replicas of different types of birds of prey, including hawks and owls.
These sort of birds can be predators of garden birds and other small animals.
However, Keith and Jane insist that they are only in the garden for decoration and not designed to frighten away wildlife.
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They said it was "infantile" for Jeff to suggest that they had prevented birds entering his bird ornament-free garden.
Jane said: "We’ve had a dry summer, unprecedented temperatures, avian flu in the area which we’ve all received letters about it, there are cats in the area.
She added that the couple have a cat themselves and don't like it when they hunt garden birds and bring them into the house.
She continued: "Keith bought the ornaments as ornaments; there was no thought that it would be a deterrent. There is no intention of scaring any birds from any other property."
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A spokeswoman for the RSPB said similar ornaments are "often used as legal deterrents" but added that they often don't work because garden birds get used to them.
She concluded: "If someone enquired wanting to encourage birds into their garden, we would not recommend for these figures to be in place due to the risk of deterring any species."
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