Eagles and falcons deployed to scare away pigeons in Barcelona

This article is more than 3 months old Trial project aims to drive colonies causing a nuisance at Camp Nou football stadium to nearby parks

Barcelona has recruited a new weapon in its fight to keep the urban pigeon population under control: eagles and falcons.

As part of a trial, teams of three or four birds of prey have started patrolling an area around Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s football ground, between 8am and 4pm. Pigeons nesting in the ground have been driven out by building works and have relocated to nearby blocks of flats whose residents have demanded action.

The idea is to drive the pigeons into nearby parks where they will be less of a nuisance.

“The birds can eat a few pigeons but that’s not the idea,” said Albert Tomás, a spokesperson for the company contracted to carry out the work. “Besides, a dead pigeon doesn’t learn.”

The mere sight of low-flying birds of prey was enough to unsettle the pigeons, which soon get the message that it was time to move on, said Tomás.

The pilot scheme follows the city’s failed effort to control the population of the estimated 85,000 pigeons through spiking their food with a contraceptive.

In some areas, such as the Plaça de Catalunya in the city centre, the concentration of birds is twice the recommended number.

In 2017 the city successfully used birds of prey to disperse flocks of pigeons that were damaging the roof of the Palau Sant Jordi concert hall.

Carmen Maté, responsible for animal welfare in the city, said that if the Camp Nou pilot proved successful it would be extended to other parts of Barcelona. The city is also campaigning to stop people discarding food in the street, which encourages the growth of the pigeon population.

Most Spanish airports use teams of falcons to deter bird strikes which are estimated to cost the global airline industry $1.2bn (£950,000) a year.

Barcelona airport has a team of 80 falcons, while about 70 peregrine falcons patrol Barajas airport in Madrid.

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Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard