Thursday, January 27, 2011
Clay Pigeons to Ward Off Blackouts
The Israel Electric Company carried out an unusual repair operation in Hod HaSharon, near Tel Aviv, this week. Technicians stationed a flock of clay pigeons atop electric poles and transformers in the Neve Neeman neighborhood of the city in an attempt to put an end to repeat blackouts.
The fake pigeons are intended to ward of real doves who have been roosting on the wires. The birds' droppings have caused shortages causing electricity to be cut off on several occasions. In addition, the doves sometimes suffer electrocution while perched on the wires.
After sending technicians many times to fix the same problem, the Electric Company sought a creative, and more permanent, solution.
Experts advised the company that flocks of pigeons avoid roosting in a place where a different flock has made its home. In addition, they reported that white pigeons, or doves, are particularly rare, making them more likely to cause other flocks to keep their distance.
Technicians put up the first “flock” of fake white pigeons several months ago as a test. The 30 fake birds led real birds to avoid the area in which they were stationed, putting an end to the blackouts in their area.
Now birds have been stationed on additional poles. Electric Company officials said they believe the clay animals will put an end to blackouts in the area for good.