When it comes to the bird population there is a clear pecking order and hawks certainly seem to rule the roost.
So defined is this battle between the smaller and larger bird species that some birds are actually introduced to an area to act as a pest deterrent.
Some species of birds are classed as a pest due to the risk they pose to human health, particularly when they gather in large numbers in a public place or at an industrial property. The main problem is the risk of disease from droppings, particularly when they make their home near to a food source.
The birds most commonly considered to be a pest are pigeons, seagulls, sparrows and starlings.
Are birds of prey a pest solution?
Some birds of prey, however, are seen as a solution to help solve a problem with pest birds. Harris hawks and falcons are both seen as a deterrent against smaller birds that have become a pest.
The basic premise is that as birds of prey they scare away the smaller birds by flying over the affected area. The hawks are intended to act as a deterrent only and by making unpredictable flights over the pest birds the hope is the pest birds will move on and roost elsewhere.
Hawks are particularly seen as useful in deterring birds from airport runways where birds can pose a serious danger to planes taking off and landing.
While some people see the method as a natural way to deter birds, it certainly is not without its critics. There are arguments that the method alone is not effective without a bird cull, and also that the hawks used are not natural predators for the pest birds – and as such it is not ‘nature at work’.
The main objective is for the hawks to act as deterrents only – not to kill the birds. However, while the birds are apparently trained to do this it is impossible to prevent them attacking a bird while in flight. Critics of the method attack the savage spectacle of seeing a bird destroyed by a hawk – particularly if this is in a public place.
There are many humane ways that pest birds can be controlled and encouraged to leave an area that they have inhabited, such as the use of netting etc.
For more advice on how to control pest birds at your property get in touch with Total Bird Control today.