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Nesting falcons claim UK cell tower, Vodafone surrenders

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Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

UK mobile operator Vodafone has been forced to disable one of its cell towers in the city of Southampton after a peregrine falcon (duck hawk) chose the site for its nest. According to the BBC, some customers in the north of the city have been left without signal after engineers were unable to fix a problem with the mobile mast because the bird has a protected status and cannot be disturbed. Wildlife experts believe Vodafone may have to wait until June before the fledglings leave the roost.

Vodafone says it deactivated its transmitter on April 9th following the discovery of the female falcon. A company spokesperson told The Verge that it was currently seeking advice on how to restore service, which may include utilizing a replacement transmitter. The affected mast has a radius of roughly one mile, affecting customers that are unable to connect to neighboring transmitters. Because peregrine falcons are protected by UK wildlife laws, interfering with a nest can incur fines and even a small prison sentence. While Vodafone accepts it is inconvenient for its customers, it is happy to see a protected species take up residence on one of its masts, stating "it is great news that the falcons are nesting in the city."