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Transparent soundproof panels on Ojén road have proven fatal for dozens of birds

Protesters painted graffiti on the panels in protest.
Protesters painted graffiti on the panels in protest. / Josele-Lanza
  • A video condemning the roadside panels has gone viral, forcing authorities to alter them and provoking a Guardia Civil investigation

Dozens of blackbirds have been found dead at the side of the Marbella-Coín road near the Palo Alto housing development in Ojén after crashing into transparent noise-prevention panels.

The situation has produced a wave of criticism. Graffiti has appeared and activist group Marbella Se Queja has created a viral video demanding that the panels be altered. The Guardia Civil's environmental protection unit (Seprona) has opened an investigation.

Ojén council announced on Tuesday that they have arranged for the panels to be provisionally covered to make them more visible to birds and requested that the property developers responsible for the screens, Round Hill, come up with a solution.

The mayor, Jose Antonio Gómez, said that Round Hill had permission to put up the panels in order to reduce traffic noise but added that the council had asked them to "use common sense" and make sure that birds could spot the screens easily.

Mayor's version questioned

Director of Round Hill Spain, Matías Villaroel, has disputed the mayor's comments, saying that the company had only planned to use opaque panels until new painted ones could be installed and it was the council that preferred the clear ones.

The screens will now be decorated with murals of birds and trees and Round Hill has also promised to make a donation to a bird sanctuary.