Industrial and Urban bird Control

Avian Environmental Consultants is a company which utilises falcons and hawks as a type of Biological control. This stems from an interest in ornithology and natural history. We have been employing these methods for the past decade in various urban and industrial environments .There are many differences between prey “bird of prey programmes” and Falconry.

The most significant difference being the falcons we fly are trained solely for their “deterrent effect”.

The reason for using birds of prey is that they are at the apex of the avian chain. There are two basic fundamental biological reactions “Fight or Flight”. The correct hawk or falcon introduced in a controlled way will initiate a flight response. This manifests itself in “flocking” behaviour and dispersal of the problem species. The most characteristic display of this is the tight flocking of starlings (sturnus vulgaris) and feral pigeons (columba livia) in the presence of a predator.

Species utilised include; Peregrine Falcon (falco peregrinus) which are very effective in dispersing Gulls, Corvids, Lapwings (vanellus vanellus) and Starlings. Other species of medium size falcons we use are Lanner (falco biarmicus) and Sakers (falco cherrug). The Merlin (falco columbarius) deters House Sparrows (passer domesticus) and Starlings, and The Harris Hawk (parabuteo unicinctus) is a natural predator to Starlings, Feral pigeons and Sparrows.

Areas of work:

  • Airfields
  • Landfill sites
  • Industrial premises and sites (externally and internally)
  • Westminster Abbey & Heritage Sites
  • Warehouses (particular interest will be paid to these sites as they are the most relevant in an urban context).

Summary of the effectiveness and constraints.

Their use should be viewed as an effective additional method to the more conventional procedures. Other non tangible benefits are the “positive PR effects” generated by these “Environmentally friendly or green methods” .

Other possible avenues to explore would be the hacking and release of indigenous species in areas of particular intensity (under license). I hope this has imparted some light on the subject and allayed some of the skepticism with which it has been viewed in the past.

With a conscientious and professional approach these methods could help to redress some of the current urban bird problems.