English town gets robotic falcons
With Liverpool in England being awarded the status of European Capital of Culture in 2008, the city council is stepping up another gear when it comes to sprucing up the city. One of the main objectives in its clean up operation would be getting rid of pigeons in the city, where these birds no longer need to get up early to catch any worms as they can wistfully sit idly and wait for well meaning passers-by to drop leftovers for them. And when these pigeons start to swell around their tummies from the abundant amount of food, it is natural that their droppings will start to rain down like manna from heaven.
This dilemma has certainly moved the city council to take some pretty drastic measures such as purchasing ten robotic birds that will be strategically located in the city center. These robotic falcons, known as Robops, look very much like a Peregrine Falcon (the pigeon’s natural predator) and come with the ability to move their heads, flap their wings, and give out the occasional squawk to scare the feathers out of pigeons.
The city council has also urged the public not to feed the pigeons as that would only encourage the birds to hang around. The droppings are dangerous since they make the city look like a dump, while surfaces end up slippery and dangerous to pedestrians. If you think the pigeon nuisance is a small matter, think again. The city council uses up to 88 man hours a day cleaning droppings from streets and buildings, and the final bill ends up at £160,000 annually. Now that’s definitely not chump change for anyone with half a brain for a calculator.