By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Parking Authority took action, this week, to solve a long-standing problem at its airport garage.
And it’s one that might give you goosebumps, if you ever saw the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds.”
“There are a large number of birds sitting up in the canopy during the nesting season,” says Frank Raggozino, director of the PPA’s airport operations.
Too many to actually count but enough, he says, to make you say “Oh my gosh. How did they all get here?!”
And, he says, they can be nasty.
If a light bulb needs to be changed near a nest, say, “They can be quite aggressive.”
Okay, they haven’t attacked en masse, as they do in the movie, but they definitely present a health hazard.
“It’s a significant amount of feces that results,” he says, citing concerns about bacteria. In fact, there’s so much, “it creates a slip-and-fall hazard.”
After years of daily power-washing, Raggozino worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on eliminating the birds.
He says they recommended trapping– not practical in this case– or bird birth control– which Raggozino also ruled out.
At the PPA Board February meeting, on Tuesday, the board approved a contract for $43,590 for massive netting to keep the birds out.
It has to be put up before nesting season. Raggozino doesn’t want the birds roosting in his garage but he also doesn’t want to separate mother birds from their eggs, once they’ve laid them. It wouldn’t be humane, he says.
But anyone who’s seen “The Birds” would also know, you don’t want to provoke them.