Saturday, December 09, 2006

Flipping the Bird

According to an article in the New York Times, pigeons are waging war on the US Armed Forces Career Center at Times Square - and seem to be winning. Apparently, the pigeons have taken over the roof of the recruiting center and, having secured the high ground, are laying siege. When engaged by the military, they retreat but come right back - rather like some South East Asian folks the US military has had prior experience with.

Well, the US military, desperate to get rid of the birds, hired a company to install a sound system on the roof with four speakers that emit "the call of predators and even the sound of pigeons being attacked."

While the sound apparently turns a few human heads every day, the affect on the pigeons so far - didley bupkes! They seem not to be affected by it, ignore it for the most part and the only concession they have made is to vacate the immediate vicinity of the speakers.

The company thinks its because the pigeons, being urban pigeons, have never heard "the call of predators", such as falcon, and therefore, are not effected by the noise.

Here's what I think - these are New York pigeons, for fuck's sake!!! Call of predators indeed! They dodge MTA buses, crazy cabbies, idiot drivers from White Plains and Jersey, not to mention millions of tourists who walk around goggle eyed, staring upwards at the tops of buildings. These bad boys could probably take down a falcon or two, if it came to it. Especially if they were country falcons.

You really think that making a little noise at them would make them go away? I mean, really!

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the article:

NEW YORK REGION | December 7, 2006
Birds Just Won't Listen to Military Noise-Maker
A device is supposed to deter pigeons outside a military recruiting center in Times Square, but the birds don't seem to be paying much attention.

Last month the contractor who maintains the little metal-and-glass building between 43rd and 44th Streets installed a noise-producing contraption that was supposed to shoo the pigeons away.

The device came with four speakers, fewer than some home-theater setups have, but enough to blast bird noises every 10 minutes or so. The noises — the calls of predators, even the sounds of pigeons being attacked — are supposed to scare the pigeons, or at least make them pay attention.

Everybody does pay attention to the noise, it seems — everybody but the pigeons. Pedestrians shake their heads at the idea of woodsy sound effects in the urban jungle. The pigeons, having abandoned the southern end of the recruiting station roof, where the speakers are, stay put on the northern end.

No comments: