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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Hawks help lower gull aggression
A bird of prey and its handler (generic)
The birds and their handlers had to be there regularly
Aggressive gulls have had their feathers ruffled in a Cornish town - by hawks brought in to frighten them.

Council officials hired the birds of prey and their handlers to patrol the seafront at St Ives for a week after complaints about the seagulls.

Visitors said food was being snatched from their hands by swooping seabirds.

But initial reports suggest the seagulls were less bold when the hawks were nearby - because they were too wary of being attacked themselves.

A spokesman for Penwith District Council said there were was no cash for the operation to take place again this financial year.

John Dickson, of Norfolk-based NBC Bird Solutions, which supplied the birds and their handlers, said by the end of the trial the gulls were not as aggressive and people would eat their lunch near the falconers to avoid trouble.

He said: "It was successful, but we would have to be there every day because the gulls need to know the birds of prey are not just visiting."

Hawks fly in to tackle seagulls
18 Apr 07 |  Cornwall

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