published Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Tennessee county wants to shoo away birds at courthouse

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. — Bye, bye birdies.

An eastern Tennessee county is trying an environmentally-friendly sound system to scare away pigeons that gather in the clock tower of the courthouse.

Washington County officials hope the system, which emits the calls of predatory birds, will be up to the task. The concept went into use Tuesday in Jonesborough.

County Zoning Administrator Mike Rutherford told the Johnson City Press the system is the most humane way to deal with the pigeon problem.

Rutherford says the system has worked successfully in downtown Kingsport and has the capability to scare away pigeons within a 1½-mile radius.

In addition to nuisance, the pigeons have contributed to structural damage of the 100-year-old courthouse, including its aging gutters which have been clogged by their excrement and need to be replaced.

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