In the immodest and Yankee-shocking French traditional style, there will be no separation of males and females stalls within public toilets, although the outcome that's planned will be the same, except that it's all for the birds.

Because Swedes promenading in Karlstad, Sweden, have become infuriated by aerial assaults from their fine feathered friends, the city fathers are convinced that their latest brainstorm will be avoid killing and still achieve cleanliness: bird potties.


In the form of floating rafts that are designed as "seagull piers," the strange addition lies anchored in Marieberg Bay, part of the waters of Lake Vänern (Europe's largest lake), may appear "boxy" in their shape to art critics. However, the structure's ten foot high posts act like telephone wires for birds. The greatest offenders, seagulls, prefer such broad posts when looking for a landing spot, yet the seagoing bird toilets are crafted to discourage permanent residence such as nests, according to Jens Gustafsson, Karlstad's head of municipal services.

Scarecrows, anti-bird sounds and other schemes (short of drastic measures like shotguns) haven't worked in the past to frighten off the pesky poopers. If the raft concept is able to entice gulls (and their untidy excrements) away from the human parts of town, then Gustafsson says that a series of these will be produced and distributed in the waters outside Karlstad.

So far, the plan is working beyond the city fathers' highest expectations and a large flock of birds have been attracted to the raft - and steered away from the fashionable cafés, marinas filled with pleasure boats and upscale shops and residences around the scenic bay. Gustafsson reasons that seagulls like to sit and watch what is going on in the town, at a safe distance, and the perches in the aviary lavoratory are perfect for that purpose, too.