Thursday, December 20, 2007

Owl Howls Scare Pigeons on Parkway

Wednesday, December 19th 2007

That screeching noise coming from the Henry Hudson Parkway? It's not just tires and brakes.
The recorded squawks of owls are echoing through the parkway's toll plaza each day, driving off a plethora of pigeons that cooped (and pooped) all over the area for years. The owl howls - think scarecrows with speakers - boom from the Manhattan side of the bridge to the Bronx, adjacent to the tollbooths on the lower level.

The piped-in noise from the pigeons' natural predators is a huge success in keeping the area clean, said Joyce Mulvaney, spokeswoman for MTA Bridges and Tunnels. The pigeons created major problems at the toll plaza and its facility building, laying a coat of bird droppings on walkways, railings and window sills.

And the smell, despite the neighboring Hudson River, was intense.

Cue the machine. Shoo the pigeons.

"When the device goes off," Mulvaney said, "they scatter."
While the pigeons still do flybys, very few settle in for the long haul since the machine arrived two years ago.

The device, while piercing, is pigeon-friendly. The majority of the birds relocate from the toll plaza to nearby Inwood Park, a woodsy area perfect for pigeons.

The anti-pigeon program was less successful at the Midtown Tunnel, where the birds were chased away but the neighbors were driven crazy by the sounds, said Mulvaney.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The unsanitary conditions we have, prevents pigeons to be just natural birds. W#e should not come with this rhetoric of saving the animals, when if there is an animal endangered is the owl, considering they cannot live with us, whereas pigeons can. It is unfair for nature, that you are trying to protect pigeons from owls when we have over a million of unhealthy and sad to say, disease transmitter pigeons in the city.