Killer birds called after students are attacked by thousands of seagulls

April 30, 2013 | by | 1 Comment

University staff have been forced to call in a team of killer birds – after its students came under constant attack from thousands of SEAGULLS.

Officials say undergraduates are being bombarded and left covered in muck by the angry gulls swooping on them.

The unruly birds are dive-bombing students, invading buildings and covering rooftops and cars with excrement at Plymouth University in Devon.

Plymouth University have started using Harrier Hawks to intimidate seagulls on the campus

Plymouth University have started using Harrier Hawks to intimidate seagulls on the campus

Exasperated uni bosses have now turned to a falconry team to scare them away with specially trained Harris hawks and peregrine falcons.

Seven birds-of-prey are now perched at strategic lookout points atop of the university’s Portland Villas campus ready to swoop down at the first sign of trouble.

Falconer Martin Cattell of NVC Bird Pest Solutions said his aerial enforcers would aim to intimidate rather than kill.

He said: “Over the last few years they have had gulls nesting in all the roofs here, which causes a danger to the buildings and the chimneys.

“We have access to the roofs so we are flying the birds off the roofs as well.

“The predators being here is enough to push the gulls out. It is a breeding season programme, at the moment the gulls want to nest.

“Gulls are clever animals. Harris hawks and falcons just scare them and force them out.”

The hawks and falcons will be stationed at the uni until September and will be back next year to prevent the seagulls from returning.

It can take as long as three years to deter gulls from breeding in their favoured spots.

Mr Cattell added: “We will prevent them from nesting, then next year they will try again, and the year after that they start thinking ‘We are not getting our chicks through’.”

Paul Hoppins, of the university’s estates team, said staff decided against exterminating the birds and instead wanted a humane solution.

He said: “Everybody is really happy with the outcome because it’s a natural way of dealing with the issue we have.

“The other alternative is to poison them, but you can’t do that.”

Category: News

Comments (1)

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  1. Richard says:

    Im continually surprised that hawks are used to try to scare Gulls.
    One Hawk against many Gulls is suiside to be fair.You only have to watch the poor Hawk being attacked from multiple directions to get the idea that the bird of prey is scared senseless.
    Why do the owners send them in?Because its big money and they are putting there birds in harms way for there own greed.I know
    TThe only way to post the problem out is a cull.Sorry hippy folk,you may think its cruel,but spare a thought for all the other wildlife.One day you may wake up and find,oh dear,there are no songbirds left.

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