Sat, 12 Mar 2005

From: AFP

Birds ignore U.S. scare tactics at Beijing airport

BEIJING: U.S.-made audio players installed at Beijing's international airport to scare birds off the runway have failed because of the "language barrier", state media said on Thursday.

The machines play sounds of predatory birds such as hawks to shoo away birds which pose a danger to aircraft.

But the pests were apparently unruffled by the "foreign" squawks and staff have hastily recorded the sounds of Chinese hawks into the machine instead, the China Daily reported.

Aviation authorities though will have to wait to see if this works as the birds they are trying to get rid of are migratory and have now departed after spending weeks feeding on grass bordering the airstrip.

"Birds do have their own ways of communicating and understand the sounds made by their natural enemies," said Zhang Zhengwang, biology professor and a bird expert from Beijing Normal University.

Earlier this year, the airport installed scarecrows in the shape of birds of prey which sway in the wind. These had some success and dozens of bird nests were removed from the tops of lamp posts on perimeter roads. AFP