QUEENS — A recently installed alarm which seeks to deter birds from gathering at the Rego Center Mall has confused and annoyed some shoppers as well, locals said.
The alarm, which emits loud sounds of chirping birds, was installed several weeks ago at an atrium near the escalator by Bed, Bath & Beyond to deter pigeons and other birds flocking to the area, mall employees said.
The atrium, featuring several planters and benches, is where customers can rest or wait for their family members shopping around the mall.
But scores of birds also chose the spot to build their nests there, often forcing shoppers to sit among thick layers of pigeon droppings.
“That place had a serious bird problem,” said one employee who did not want his name to be used.
The mall also installed pigeon deterrent spikes and netting to prevent birds from sitting in the area.
And while the deterrents seem to effectively scare the birds off, some shoppers said the sounds emitted by the alarm are “annoying.”
“It was peaceful before,” said Michael Perlman, a local resident and activist, who added that the bird alarm sounds like “a broken record of aggressive birds" and called it “a source of noise pollution.”
“Many people have been scratching their heads and other are feeling annoyed by the 'influx of automated birds,'” Perlman said. “There are better methods of reducing the assembly of pigeons and birds.”
A new bird alarm has recently been installed near the atrium at the Rego Center Mall. (Photo: DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)
Sarah Lopez, 54, who was sitting near the escalator last weekend, said that initially she thought that a group of birds was about to attack those in the atrium.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “It sounded like a bunch of angry birds.”
Some residents posted similar reactions on a neighborhood Facebook page.
“I thought maybe a huge bird was hiding up there squawking!” one resident wrote. “A bunch of people and I were very confused!”
Others said they were actually amused by the sounds.
“Sounds like we're in a jungle, lol,” wrote one local on Facebook.
“Wouldn't a chirping bird attract more birds?” wondered another. “I would think a chirping cat would be better.”
Sound alarms are one of several methods used to deter birds throughout the city. Other deterrents include ultrasonic devices that make sounds that are unbearable to pigeons, but can’t be heard by people, a method sometimes used by the MTA.
The mall did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment.