back to article Angry Birds fire back: Vulture cousins menace UK city's mobiles

Vodafone engineers dispatched to fix a Southampton mobile mast found a nesting Peregrine falcon - a protected species which must be left alone until its eggs hatch - leaving local residents with limited mobile coverage. The BBC tells us the eggs can be expected to hatch in June, but until then the nest and the attending pair …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    share this article

    Not related to this post, but the share this article section seems to distinctly lack facebook and twitter, the two ways in which I am connected to my friends in southampton. I mean honestly you have a share button without those two, that's like saying you're selling a gaming PC but the graphics card can't be AMD or nVidia...

    Considering the norm, anyone know where el reg got this news from so i can share from the source instead?

    1. groovyf

      Re: share this article


    2. The BigYin

      Re: share this article

      Is it so hard to copy and paste a URL? Personally I block those "Share" buttons to cut down on the spying and tracking.

    3. TommyKTheDJ

      Re: share this article

      Try the "Like" and "Tweet" buttons at the top of the article?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: share this article

        Maybe he's using Adblock and as enabled the "eliminate all those annoying 'tell everyone you like this' button' option like I have!

  2. Julian Bradfield

    perhaps ElReg should buy its contributors dictionaries?

    "more paramount", indeed. That's even more nonsensical than "more unique".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: perhaps ElReg should buy its contributors dictionaries?

      So, the former has even more zero sense than the latter, eh?

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Missed opportunity

    Could have been used as a field trial for RFC1149.

    1. Gavin Jamie

      Re: Missed opportunity

      I would imagine RFC1149 would suffer from considerable packet loss in the circumstances.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Missed opportunity

        I'm reminded of that joke where aliens laugh at numbers. In this context, whispering RFC1149 to a geek is not far off that.

        @Gavin You're thinking of RFC 2549; RFC 1149 doesn't specify the carrier. In this case, the sender ties the message to the the leg of the peregrine and the recipient superglues a juicy pigeon to their roof.

        <-- Icon for head protection from bird crap.

    2. James Wright

      Re: Missed opportunity

      How long have you been waiting for this news story to be able to post that?

    3. Mark Allen
      Thumb Up

      Re: Missed opportunity

      El'REg has posted a few RFC1149 articles.

      The bandwidth of a pigeon is huge. Especially if you use Micro SD Cards.

      Just make sure they aren't flying around Southampton. Or the ones we have down here further down the coast to the East. For some reason the tourists get upset when they see the pigeons taken out by the Falcons. Free pest control for cities!!

  4. Darkwolf

    based on the title...

    I was hoping this was an announcement for an el reg themed version of Angry Birds

    1. Harvey Trowell

      Re: based on the title...

      Sadly not. It was in development, then Lewis found out how much the catapults were going to cost and it had to be scrapped for health reasons.

  5. The BigYin

    Only £5,000?

    Given the billions Vodafone saved in the dodgy deal with Hartnett, seems to me they can easily afford to kill quite a few falcons.

    Or, you know, as many temporary transmitters as it takes (with billions to spate).

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Only £5,000?

      I think they would be more scared of the jail time part that can (and at least I think) should be applied if they moved them.

      The $5,000 fine is for people like you or I that it would crush if done accidentally.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only £5,000?

        Think is more likely that, as the article suggests, they'd be more worried at the publicity and the prospect of protestors dressed as peregrine falcons picketing there stores

    2. Scott Green

      Re: Only £5,000?

      Last time I had cause to look up the regulations ( work related - birds nesting on assault course), it was cumulative - £5k for disturbing the nest PLUS £5k per nesting egg...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only £5,000?

        These things tend to be 5k per offence so, it may be possible to commit several offences by moving one nest.

  6. g e

    But surely

    The eggs will be cooked and the parent birds have horrific cancers?

    Kinder to move them surely!

    1. Cliff

      Re: But surely

      I'd imagine the spot right at the top to have far lower radiation than the sides - antenna design is spooky

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's that bad

    Don't Vodafone have any of those temporary phone masts that are put up in disaster areas?

    Judging by the state of the O2 network round here, there's a hell of a lot of peregrine falcons nesting nearby.

    1. Colin Millar

      Re: If it's that bad

      Temp masts for disaster areas? Isn't that what this mast is? We are talking about Southampton UK yes?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Regardless of the protection status of the bird, it is illegal to disturb ANY bird nest (The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, there are a few exceptions)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it? Surely big companies like vodafone have emergency, portable, masts? can't they stick a few of those up?

  10. Knoydart


    Sounds like they should just wheel in a Cell site On Wheels for the rest of the nesting season.

    Just be thankful its not a traditional phone exchange otherwise you'd need a Meow instead (mobile exchange on wheels) which would catch and kill the birds

    1. hplasm

      Re: Cow

      Vodaphone replied: "Er, don't have a CoW, man."

  11. Chazmon

    I for one am very happy to have the birds nesting on top of that eyesore of a tower.

    The pigeon population on campus is being decimated on a daily basis! (and I happen to not be on vodaphone)

  12. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    I heard that...

    ...Foreign cyber terrorists are planning on using these birds to knock out the UKs mobile comms infrastructure.

    Think script kiddies meets Kes!

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