Wednesday, March 12, 2014

'Super falcons' on patrol to deter nuisance seagulls

"Super falcons" are being used by three coastal towns to try to stop nuisance seagulls disturbing people. Councils in Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton are spending £15,000 in an effort to stop the gulls nesting.

Falconer Jonathan Marshall said: "The birds are crossed between a peregrine, gyr and saker falcon. Peregrines are the fastest, gyr are the largest and saker are very aggressive and persistent, which make a manmade super falcon."

Mr Marshall said of his falcons: "Seagulls are petrified of them, but the birds don't kill the gulls, that isn't the idea. The very presence is enough to scare the seagulls and prevent them from nesting."

Christopher Holland, Sidmouth's town clerk, said the falcons will fly three times a week - at different times of the day - in the three towns and if the weather is not suitable, Mr Marshall will use a "falcon-shaped kite" to unsettle the gulls.

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