A bird of prey was drafted in to tackle a seagull invasion at a school in Perth, Scotland. Spiney the Harris Hawk was introduced at Perth Grammar to strike fear into the hearts of scavenging seabirds after a spate of complaints from staff and pupils.
The raptor was used as part of a £7,000 pest control plan to patrol playing fields and car parks after reports that gulls had been dive-bombing pupils and stealing their lunchtime snacks.
The nine-month-old male hawk was part of a range of measures aimed at bringing the school’s longstanding gull problem under control.
Specialists have been looking at ways of disrupting their nests and making the environment as unwelcoming for the birds as possible.
A Perth and Kinross Council spokesman said: “The council arranged for hawking activity to take place at Perth Grammar School as a pest control measure to deter seagulls which had been nesting on site and causing a nuisance to pupils, staff and visitors.
“The total cost for all the hawking services was £6,000, with an additional cost of £1,000 for seagull programmed nest disruption.”
He added: “This stage of pest control action has now concluded, however we will continue with other measures to discourage gulls from the school premises, such as disruption to nesting and making sure the school environment and pupils do not encourage the gulls to return”