PERSPEX panels responsible for killing hundreds of birds have been removed from a Tauranga City Council fence in The Lakes.
Resident Bob Bowhill takes his dog on a walkway alongside the fence between The Lakes subdivision and Pyes Pa Rd every day and had seen dozens of birds fly straight into the perspex panels on top of the fence and countless others lying dead or injured on the ground.
Mr Bowhill contacted the council and Forest and Bird late last year to make his concerns known and yesterday council contractors removed the perspex.
Perspex panels in the middle of the fence were not as much of a problem but would be blacked out as well.
"It was quite distressing when I was taking my dog for a walk," Mr Bowhill said.
"In the late part of last year when they started nesting I worked it out, counting both sides, over the year well over 800 birds would have perished. It is just sad."
Many of the birds killed were blackbirds and sparrows but he had also come across kingfishers, tuis, waxeyes, quails and shining cuckoos, he said. "It shouldn't be happening. In today's society they have too much of an uphill struggle anyway."
Forest and Bird central North Island field officer Al Fleming praised Mr Bowhill for taking action and letting the organisation know rather than ignoring the problem.
"Bird strikes are a real issue. It's often houses and buildings on flyways," he said. "I think this fence may have been just not thought through."
Tauranga City Council transportation manager Martin Parkes said the fence, which was installed about 18 months ago, was a sound barrier to keep noise from the State Highway out of the subdivision and perspex would have been used because of an urban design or light issue. He said the cost was about $5000 and estimated the cost of removal $1500. There were about 20 panels.
"I'm glad we can do our bit to put a stop to this. It's quite upsetting to know that we have caused this issue in the first place. Certainly lessons have been learnt for future design."