NYC pigeons ignore sonic device

March 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

NEW YORK, March 12 (UPI) -- New York residents say an electronic device aimed at keeping pigeons away from the Triumph of Civic Virtue statue outside Queens Borough Hall is not working.

The device, installed in January, emits ultrasonic sounds inaudible to humans as well as a mix of predator sounds in an effort to keep pigeons from roosting on the sculpture, which was first unveiled outside of the borough hall in 1922, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

However, residents say the birds appear unfazed by the sounds and barely seem to move when the device kicks on and lets loose with a series of loud squawks.

"They're used to it now," said passerby Ed Young, 76, of Cambria Heights. "It seems like they like it."

Wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath said such devices are often ineffective in city environments.

"They really don't work," he said. "In the wild, pigeons are alerted to these sounds. But in the city, they have become desensitized."

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