Plastic owls have been appearing in trees in Palmerston North's main shopping area - and seem to be helping stop sparrows and other birds roosting and leaving a mess.
The nine owls, with names like Owl-vis Presley, Owl McPherson and Owl Capone, have been fitted to trees in Broadway Avenue for just over a week.
The council's roading manager, Graeme Tong, says sparrows see the owls as a threat, and since they've been installed there's been a big drop in both the number of birds and the mess.
However, he says, while the ruse is working now, the birds will eventually twig to what's going on. The owls will be removed in a couple of months.