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Neighbors Say Woodside Hawk Recordings Are For The Birds

Officials Call The Bird Calls A Humane Way To Keep Pigeons Away
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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Bird calls have been ringing non stop at the 51st Street Station in Woodside.

People looking around for hawks and other birds of prey have noticed that the racket is coming from a recording being played on an electronic squawk box, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

“It sounds like we’re in a tropical rain forest,” John Price said.

Officials told CBS 2’s Carlin that the racket is not without reason.

“What you hear is sounds that will scare pigeons away,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer explained that something had to be done about the pigeons at the station. They were ruining people’s clothes and leaving the area caked with droppings.

Spikes and ‘Do Not Feed’ signs only had mixed results so the councilman found $250,000 in his discretionary budget and worked with the MTA to give the urban jungle a new soundtrack.

The move has been praised by pigeon experts who called the boombox solution “humane”.

“We’re not thinking of exterminating them. We try to figure out a way for all of us to live together well,” Wild Bird Fund Director, Rita McMahon said.

For the bird calls to work they have to sound natural and not too loud but resident’s say the recordings have been playing on full blast.

“Kept me awake last weekend. You can hear it at home,” Terry O’Donovan said.

Van Bramer said that the only feathers that he wants to ruffle are on the pigeons. Two more of the noise makers are planned for stations at 46th and 61st Streets.

“If it’s too loud we can certainly work with the MTA,” Van Bramer said.

Experts at the Wild Bird Fund have cautioned that pigeons could catch on to the trick over time. If the birds learn that there are no real hawks in the area they could eventually learn to live with the noise.

Experts added that the best solution may be for humans to stop feeding the pigeons.

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