As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 8 July 2019

French court hears case of Maurice, the famous 'noisy' cockerel

Retired couple say rooster’s ‘abnormal noise’ disturbs them at holiday home

Thu 4 Jul 2019 14.20 BSTLast modified on Fri 5 Jul 2019 08.32 BST

Maurice the cockerel, France’s most famous bird, whose piercing dawn call sparked neighbours to take legal action over noise pollution, has finally had his case heard in court.

A local court in Rochefort has begun examining the case of a dispute over the bird between neighbours on the Île d’Oléron. Two pensioners complained that Maurice was making abnormally high levels of noise that disturbed the peace at their second home on the island when he crowed every morning at 6.30am.

The dispute, which has run for more than two years, has been billed as a symbolic standoff between two ways of life: on one side are the islanders on the picturesque Île d’Oléron off the Atlantic coast, who say they have always kept chickens; on the other are people arriving from other areas of France to invest in second homes on the island.

Maurice has received support from all over France through a petition defending his crowing; in recent months his fame has been used to draw attention to key causes, such as posing this winter wearing a yellow hi-vis vest in favour of the gilets jaunes protesters.

Supporters have created an “I am Maurice” banner on social media and and even the head of one local authority, Dominique Bussereau, tweeted his solidarity.

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