Loud starlings in the Open Market of the Plaza de Toros

Listen! Spring is in the air, as are the city’s starlings in and around the historic Bull Ring Open Market. To some, the birds are ‘invasive’, but to others they are the prettiest signs of wildlife in the city, even if we don’t get the incredible murmurs that people living in rural communities enjoy.

With no shopkeepers shouting their prices and few buses and their noisy engines waiting nearby on Upper Dean Street, the sound of screaming starlings on a Sunday morning is almost deafening, in a pleasant way. And with 857 years of trading history behind it, the market is a really interesting place to be.

And yet… just ten days after the new JD Wetherspoon The London & North Western pub opened last year on 22nd November 2022, it only took one wayward pigeon to sneak in uninvited and refuse to let the pub giant will close the site for almost two days for health and safety reasons.

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Similarly, if someone saw half a dozen mice running across the floor of a store in the Plaza de Toros, one imagines that the company would be asked to close its doors to fix the problem. But ‘free range’ starlings at an outdoor market?

Every following Tuesday the stalls will be packed with fresh fruit and veg, eggs and cheese again, so does it matter that for the previous two days starlings by the dozen are literally pooping everywhere all the time? Especially if we are always told that all fruits and vegetables must be washed before eating?


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