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A bird of prey perching on a wooden stump.

Falconry is one of the most interesting bird control techniques offered by PestControl.co.uk, and can also be extremely effective when carried out by our trained pest control operatives.

When to use Falconry

If you simply want to protect your home from pigeons, seagulls or some other kind of bird from perching and nesting on it, then falconry would probably not be appropriate. Something like that can usually be done successfully with deterrents such as bird netting, bird scarers and bird spikes. If you want to keep pest birds out of a larger area however, falconry is extremely useful.

Since the birds of prey can cover large areas, they can easily protect a car park or some other large expanse. They can even be used indoors to prevent wild birds perching and roosting in large buildings.

How Falconry Works

The birds of prey used by PestControl.co.uk are trained specifically as tools for pest control. Their training includes controlling their flights and getting them used to environments which are unnatural to them.

The aim of falconry as a pest control technique is to scare the pest bird away from the target area, which is done most effectively when the places they feed and roost are focused on.

Different birds of prey are trained in different ways, so that a specific plan can be implemented. The way they are used is this:

  • The Control Bird. This is a bird of prey which has been trained to chase the pest bird, but not to kill them. In some cases, this will be enough for the pest bird (e.g. seagulls or pigeons) to decide to leave the area for good. In many cases however, while they will flee temporarily they will later return.
  • The Pursuit Bird. Once the control bird has introduced the threat, if there are pest birds remaining in the area then at a later date the pursuit bird will be introduced. They are trained to chase and kill one of the pest birds in a flock. This will teach the rest of the flock that the bird of prey is actually a genuine threat. Following this, either bird released in to the area will be much more effective at scaring the pest birds away.
  • The Slow Bird. If there is an area that is unsuitable for the falcons, which fly quickly, then a hawk can be used instead. They are slower, but are particularly effective indoors.
A number of seagulls standing on the ground.

It is important to note that this is not a quick fix, and a single sighting of a bird of prey is very unlikely to clear an area of seagulls or pigeons for very long. When the presence of a bird of prey is established over a certain period of time, however, it is very effective.

In addition to the falcons and hawks, specialist kites are also used to complement the process. Bird scarer rockets, recorded distress calls and blank firing devices are also used in order to create a long-lasting effect.

Risk Assessment

Health and safety concerns are always a very high priority with PestControl.co.uk, and when it comes to falconry particular care is taken to make sure that a bird of prey is not released in to an area which would be potentially dangerous.