For the Birds

Roberto Gonzalez

Q: Is a camera hidden inside the birdhouse atop the traffic light at Robinson Street and Bumby Avenue?


A: Answer Man was primed to break the story of the century: that Big Brother—or Big Bird—has been watching motorists from a cleverly disguised eye in the sky for decades, with the evil empire coming into its own only recently by targeting red-light runners.

No such luck—it’s really just a birdhouse. All red-light cameras in Orlando are in plain sight, says Steve Jones, the city’s traffic operations manager. The  little birdhouse has a fascinating history nonetheless. One story has it that the original house was put up in the 1940s by a city worker who felt bad about having to destroy nests that birds built around the signal. Another account says that the Audubon Society installed the diminutive dwelling in the 1950s.

Whatever the case, there have been several versions of the house because of wood rot or destruction by hurricanes. But it’s never been down for long because residents start squawking if they don’t see it after a few days.

“It’s basically been a tradition to have a birdhouse at that intersection, so we just keep it there,’’ Jones says. The current red-and-white house was built by traffic signal technician Scott Fulkerson about four years ago from scrap lumber he had around.

But these days, the house may be more satisfying for humans than sparrows or wrens.

“The people I’ve talked to haven’t really seen any birds using it,’’ Jones says. Instead, the feathered friends tend to favor nearby wiring boxes for the signals as places to start a nest.

Q: Did the University of Central Florida recently change its address?

A: Answer Man has always considered finding any building at UCF equivalent to navigating a tortuous circle of hell, and it’s no wonder: Up to now every structure on campus has borne the same location: 4000 Central Florida Boulevard. Good luck with that on Google Maps.

But a few weeks ago the university renamed about 20 streets and assigned individual numbers and streets to all edifices on the main campus, in keeping with a new law for state building addresses. So emergency personnel, delivery people and just regular folks all benefit. The official address—the location of the visitors’ office—is also changing, from 4000 to 4001, because it’s on the side of the street that uses odd numbers elsewhere in the county.

So now you can enjoy tooling along the likes of new thoroughfares  like Mensa Lane, Knights Victory Way, Home Run Court and Scholarship Drive. Hmm, those may not register very high on the Hip Meter, but when you’re about to assume the crown of biggest university in the country, you can name your roads anything you want. 

Answer Man welcomes your questions about the Orlando area. Send queries to


Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Dentists Q&As

We selected 4 dentists to weigh in on questions related to dental health.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2015

Our annual list featuring 216 of the area’s finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2015

Our annual guide to private schools will help you chart an educational course for your family.

2014 Finest Doctors

Two national surveys name the Best and Top Doctors in Orlando, as recommended by their peers.

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2014

More than 75 Central Florida chiropractors make our inaugural list.

Fall Getaways

Fall is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.

Spotlight on Lawyers 2014

Our special advertising section featuring profiles on local lawyers.

Premier Doctors

This special advertising section highlights the professionalism, backgrounds and achievements of dozens of doctors.

Best Lawyers

When you need an attorney, you want someone with a strong reputation and a proven track record.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

The 411 on I-Drive 360

10 Things You Should Know About Orlando's Newest Attraction

Morse Museum's Tiffany Collection Dazzles

Winter Park's Morse Museum houses stunning glasswork by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Where to Find the Best Sushi in Orlando

Our top picks for the best and most creative sushi spots in and around Orlando.

Parent-Friendly Staycations

With scores of resorts and hotels dotting the Orlando landscape, options for kid-friendly overnights are seemingly endless. But what about a getaway where parents get a little rest and relaxation too?