This time of year, the Preston Royal Shopping Center in our neighborhood is overrun with roosting birds, which makes for bad business. The property’s management has decided to hire an outside company to help get rid of the birds, and all the mess they leave behind. 

In order to scare the birds away, workers use bright flashes of light and loud piercing sounds. If you’ve been by the shopping center around sundown this week, you’ve likely spotted these guys in orange work vests blowing their air horns at the birds.

At first, this was understandably disorienting to shoppers. But now, it’s making for neighborhood entertainment. Lydia Player lives just behind the shopping center, and she’s just one of the nearby homeowners who comes out to see the nightly show.

“We go to McDonald’s to get an ice cream cone every night to watch the flashing rockets,” she told me. “We usually try and go around 8:45 because that’s the best time to see everything. And there’s always a crowd outside of I Heart Yogurt watching, too.”

And although all the lights and sounds might scare the birds, I’m told it doesn’t actually hurt them. Player also said the method seems to be working because there’s considerably less birds at the shopping center now.



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