NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a pigeon problem of such giant proportions in Queens that the city is getting aggressive.

The ear-splitting screeching sounds heard by people near the Triumph of Civic Virtue statue on Queens Boulevard are being emitted from a noise machine that the city put up back in January to drive birds away.

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Vanessa Dwinell often eats lunch by the statue and deals with the pigeon problem.

“They mess up the statue a lot — the pigeons, right? So…and they’re dirty and stuff. It’s a nice peaceful area to sit except when that thing goes off,” Dwinell told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan.

The noise machine is attached to a light pole about 40 or 50 feet from the statue. Every 10 minutes or so, it emits ultrasonic sounds that humans can’t hear, but it also spews out predatory bird sounds as well.

“It sounds pretty frightening. Sounds like there’s an eagle up there or something, some kind of predator coming to get the poor pigeons,” Jerry Noriega said.

The pigeons are the only ones who don’t seem to mind the noise. Some of the birds observed by Morgan on Wednesday nonchalantly went about their business as the shrieking sounds pierced the air.

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Residents walking by the statue can hear the harsh sounds and think the plan has failed.

“I don’t think it’s going to work,” said Stephanie Thompson.

CBS 2 contacted the Department of Citywide Administrative Services about the device, which apparently isn’t keeping the pigeons away. The department would only confirm that it did install the device.

The city says it is currently in the process of evaluating the electronic noise machine’s effectiveness.

The birds have proven to be unflappable and it will likely take more than recorded sounds of danger to get them to fly the coop.

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