PEREGRINE falcons nesting on a mobile phone mast in Solihull have caused a signal blackout for customers, says provider EE.
The firm is asking for patience as it seeks to move the birds, but it is illegal to disturb a nest site.
We have omitted the location of the phone mast in question at the request of the police’s wildlife crime officers, to protect the birds.
We have learned from frustrated customers that their signal has been cut off in recent weeks.
One customer Zara Smyth tweeted: “Three months and I still can’t even make a phone call because of the zero signal in Shirley! Ridiculous for a phone provider.”
And it could be some time before issues are resolved as the birds won’t leave until the chicks hatch – which can take up to two months.
An EE spokesperson said the birds’ nests can cause problems for transmitters, which cannot be fixed while the birds remain.
Falcons – famed for flying at speeds of nearly 200mph to catch prey – are usually seen in the uplands of the north and west of England – and on rocky seacoasts.
An EE spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, birds nesting on our mast are preventing us from fixing the issue affecting service in the Shirley area.
“Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, it is illegal to disturb the birds and their nest site.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure minimal disruption for our customers and we apologise for any inconvenience in the meantime.”
For any keen twitchers hoping to identify the birds, the RSPB says the peregrine is a large and powerful falcon with long, broad, pointed wings and a relatively short tail.
It adds they have blue-grey markings above, with a blackish top of the head and an obvious black ‘moustache’ that contrasts with its white face.