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Birds: the newest visitors to the National Memorial

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OKLAHOMA CITY- Officials continue efforts to get rid of thousands of birds at  the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Earlier this week, firefighters started spraying the trees with water to shoo the birds away.  

Each night the birds return just before sunset and leave droppings all over and work crews spend hours each day cleaning up the mess.

"Everybody loves the birds. The problem is the damage they are causing," State Director of Oklahoma Wildlife Services Kevin Grant said. "We just want to protect the memorial. All we want is this one little piece of real estate right here, to protect this place."

Critics are upset with the plan to get rid of the birds because they say many of them are Purple Martins. 

Bird lovers believe the firefighters should not be spraying water into the trees or in the direction of the birds.  

Wild Birds Unlimited owner Kaye Cohn, understands why officials want the birds to move, but she believes they should be left alone.

“The people who would visit them would understand that in nature you are going to have poo," Cohn said.

Cohn and other critics fear that the birds could be injured.

Some argue that the firefighters should use their fire hoses to help clean up the droppings instead of trying to scare off the birds.

Wildlife experts working with the memorial say the methods they are using to get rid of the birds will not harm them.

Officials say the bird problem started last year.

They believe the recent construction near downtown is causing the birds to search for a new place to stay.

Experts say the birds will not be in Oklahoma City much longer. The Purple Martins should start migrating South in 3-4 weeks.

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