Fake Falcon Robots Scare the Shit Out of Nuisance Pigeons
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The pigeons in Liverpool are getting out of hand. They're pooping all over the place, getting fat and happy and generally creating a nuisance. City officials have decided to bring in the Robops, robotic falcons that scare the bejeezus out of the birds that many call "flying rats."
For dopey pigeons, this $3700 robotic bird looks exactly like their natural predator, the Peregrine Falcon. The robot can move its head around convincingly, flapping its wings from time to time, springing up and down on its legs and even turning toward the wind. Plus, it squawks just enough to send shivers down even the most brave pigeon's spine. The makers of these robotic falcon decoys have even been experimenting with powering the animatronic birds with solar panels.
We can think of other ways to get rid of those pesky pigeons, though.
Besides having a massive pigeon hunting season, how about just bringing in lots of real Peregrine Falcons? Oh, that's right—more birds, more shit. But Liverpudlians say the reason these birds are getting so fat is because people are feeding them burgers and sausage rolls. All that junk food is said to give them a "scruffy appearance," making them even more unpleasant to have around.
Worse, the birds are generally wreaking havoc in the community, getting in peoples' faces:
"They fly up at people and they leave droppings everywhere which not only makes the city look really unattractive but can make surfaces slippery and dangerous."
This is a real problem for Liverpool, spending 88 man hours a day shoveling pigeon droppings. They're hoping these robots will lighten the load a bit.
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