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Spot the birdie

MobileCom engineers carrying out routine maintenance on a GSM tower were shocked to find a young family living half way up it. However, they won't be getting evicted any time soon, as they're not the usual kind of illegal tenants...

The ongoing debate about mobile phone safety has put many families off the idea of living near GSM transmission towers, with concerns about radiation risks preying on the minds of parents.

However, one family in Jordan has decided that the risks involved are worth taking, in return for a nice view and good security, and made their home half way up a transmitter.

The squatters, a family of eagles including two newborn chicks, were discovered by MobileCom engineers carrying out scheduled maintenance on a solar-powered GSM tower, situated on a cliff top in the middle of the desert.

“We were completely caught by surprise when we found the nest perched on the tower with the eagles in it,” said Mohammed Salem, one of the engineers who found the unusual tenants.

“Our ultimate objective was to carry out the scheduled maintenance of the solar system without disturbing the nest. In fear that the parent eagles would abandon the newborns, we were careful enough not to disturb the nest and the parent eagles flew back to protect it once we were done.”

The eagles are believed to have chosen their nesting site because it was inaccessible to predators.

“Animals in general are able to sense danger caused by nature or humans and are less likely to nest in an area that poses a threat to them or their newborns,” said Stephane Boudier, chief operations officer at MobileCom.

“MobileCom’s towers do not impact the environment as they are installed specifically to meet high European standards. For wider coverage in remote areas, the towers are higher and so the eagles appear to have found this high structure is just what they wanted to shelter their young!”

The site with the eagle nest will not be visited for some time until the next scheduled maintenance visit to ensure that the surviving eagle will enjoy healthy growth without disruption. In the meantime, MobileCom will continue its efforts to ensure that the new habitat is protected.

“The eagles have become something of a mascot to our staff in the technical department,” said Salem.

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