A horn used to deter birds from nesting on a nearby cell tower was causing sleep deprivation and noise pollution for area residents for about six months. The horn blast, which lasted for about five seconds, could be heard around 6:30 a.m. each morning and intermittently throughout the early evening, according to ClickOrlando.com.
According to resident Sean Mallon, the sound caused major disruption.
“[It’s like] a foghorn. You have to literally stop talking when that horn goes off. You can’t hear.”
The horn — referred to as a “sonic net” — was being used to deter ospreys from building nests on a nearby cell tower, according to Crown Castle, which owns and operates the cell equipment. Under federal law, nests of certain migratory birds like ospreys cannot be removed if they contain eggs or chicks, reported ClickOrlando.com.
Although residents complained about the racket, according to a city of Orlando spokesperson, the horn didn’t violate the city’s noise ordinance. “The offending noise would need to be above the city’s noise threshold for over two and a half minutes,” said the city of Orlando public information officer Karyn Barber. She said the siren didn’t sustain the noise for that long.
Since the tower is scheduled to be demolished in March, Crown Castle decided to deactivate the horn, hoping birds will avoid nesting in the tower prior to demolition.
“We don’t have any plans to turn it back on, but we are monitoring it every day,” said Public Affairs Director Andrea Bradford.
According to resident Faye Hobbs, “The horn is out. The neighborhood is quiet. I can sleep.”