Nuisance pigeons have ruffled a few feathers among diners at restaurants at Chatham Maritime.
And now site managers have chosen a humane way of getting rid of the pests – they have brought in a flying squad.
Trained falcons have proved successful in deterring the birds at Pier Five where there are a number of al fresco eateries.
The most common is the harris hawk, which are natural predators of pigeons and therefore their regular presence scares them away.
Chatham Maritime is home to several restaurants and with views across the water, is popular with diners wanting to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere.
But the food was also attracting birds looking for scraps.
Chatham Maritime Trustees have hired Rentokil Pest Control experts to eradicate the problem.
Rentokil’s operations manager Paul Catlin said: “The pigeons are a genuine problem for a number of the traders at Pier Five.
“A humane approach was the best way of dealing with them.
“Hawking represents a natural way to deter birds in urban areas without harm, while protecting visitors, residents and traders.”
The pigeons love of food has encouraged them to come into regular human contact, with some brazenly approaching customers around the marina area.
Rentokil has hired falconers to carry out the task.
Falconer Marc Bushell is a regular visitor with his hawk, Oliver.
The birds, which are trained at The Hawking Centre at Doddington, near Sittingbourne, protect landmarks and places of special interest throughout the south, including London.
Katie Kinnes, from Rentokil, said: “Hawking is becoming more and more popular and, with some areas being inaccessible, it is often the only way of resolving the nuisance.”
Liam Merrett, a supervisor at Pier Five and Kitchen, said it had proved quite a novelty see a falconer walking along the quayside with a hawk.
Mr Merrett said: “We are quite sheltered here and we have patio heaters, so our customers like to eat and drink out even in the winter months.
“It’s a nice setting looking out on to the marina.”
The regular presence of raptors alters the behaviour of pigeons and gulls, who learn to avoid areas where the birds of prey are frequently flown, moving on to nest or roost elsewhere.
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Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
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