Town Can't Use Fire Alarm Because of ... Osprey Nest
Raptor is a threatened species in New Jersey
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2014 5:05 PM CDT
An osprey takes off from its nest inside a fire siren in Spring Lake N.J.   (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

(Newser) – A pair of ospreys has quieted a fire alarm in one New Jersey shore town, and that has ruffled some feathers in the fire department. The raptors built a nest inside the siren used by Spring Lake's fire department and first-aid squad. By law, the nest can't be disturbed, because ospreys are listed as a threatened species in New Jersey during their breeding season. The siren has been turned off for the spring and summer, leaving firefighters and paramedics to rely on pagers and cellphones to alert them of emergencies.

First responders in the resort about 60 miles north of Atlantic City say so far things have been working smoothly. But Fire Chief Tom Mullaney said Spring Lake could have a serious problem if it loses power or has a communications glitch. "We're not trying to hurt the birds," he said. "We just need to keep our communications system working." Borough Administrator Bryan Dempsey said a police officer notified him in March that an osprey appeared to be building a nest on the siren, which is mounted on a pole about 100 feet off the ground behind the police, fire, and first-aid squad headquarters. The nest cannot be disturbed at least until Sept. 1.

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Ezekiel 25:17
May 8, 2014 12:00 AM CDT
That's a poorly designed siren system. Whelen has much better models that are bird proof. We have more than 150 sirens in my town. They are a mix of digital and analogue but all of them have digital addresses in the radio system. The newest ones don't sound a siren but announce the threat and suggest an action. It sends out the message in both English and Spanish and then tells people to seek shelter based on the threat. But most of the Whelen sirens are typical whaling models. We use volunteers to report back via radio on condition of the unit. Now personally, we had a barn owl in one of our sheds. I was fine with it but the darned thing was dive bombing people who got too close. I had the naturalist come out and he said it was protected. He said to build a box on a pole outside of the barn and it may move to it. So we did just that and the thing liked our large equipment shed. So, (and this has been more than 8 years ago for statute of limitation purposes), we were driving through Arkansas and passed one of those large fireworks factory stores. So I loaded up on all of the big bang devices I could get. So like the bird scene from, "Steel Magnolias" we set off a box of those whiz bangs in the shed. That darned thing flew off like his feathers were on fire, never to be seen again.
May 7, 2014 12:58 PM CDT
Most towns across the country have already done away with the archaic notion of sirens. Though I do find it dumb and moronic that a stupid bird, endangered or not, takes precedent over the safety of people. Honestly, who cares if the bird goes extinct. Species have been going extinct for one reason or another since animals first started roaming the earth.
May 7, 2014 9:07 AM CDT
Another blatant example of how our society has its priorities up its a**.