LUBBOCK, TX -- Monday evening should have been a quiet evening on the Texas Tech campus, as the majority of students are away for Spring Break. But instead, as dusk began to fall, shots rang out like artillery fire...
"the purpose is to disrupt the roosting habits of the birds, and discourage them from roosting in this location," according to Chris Cook, of the schools Communications and Marketing Department.
Monday through Wednesday, campus maintenance crews will blast noise cannons every night, for about an hour after nightfall. Their aim? To scare off some of the school's "messier" residents, grackles.
"Well one of the primary reasons are the walkways, where the trees hang over the walkways. In the mornings, our ground maintenance folks have to come out and really scrub down the sidewalks," Cook says. "As you can imagine, the droppings that are left there, it's quite extensive."
But animal lovers, fret not. Tech says the cannons are loud, but not harmful.
"It is a humane practice. The birds are not touched, there's nothing physical about it. It's just a loud noise," Cook says.
School officials say it's not a permanent solution, by any means. But, for now, it should help keep campus a little less messy.
"Birds are going to come back. I don't think they're looking back and saying "Hey, you know that time the cannon went off...?" joked Cook. "Is every bird going to move away? No. But we're hoping to lessen the damage, if you will."
The blasts will continue Tuesday and Wednesday, for about an hour right after nightfall.