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SCIENCE FILE | I Didn't Know That

May 29, 1997

Q: What are the rotating "antennas" on the top of some billboards?

A: They are not antennas but "bird sweepers"--basically a set of rotating rods designed to prevent birds from landing on the billboards and defacing them with their droppings. They are used primarily in beach cities and at other sites with a history of bird problems. The sweepers do not hurt the birds "because they never land," according to Carol Lewis of Outdoor Systems Advertising.

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