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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Hawks fly in to tackle seagulls
Harris hawk
Five hawks are being in the trial at St Ives
Birds of prey are being brought in to a Cornish seaside town in a bid to tackle seagulls causing health problems.

Penwith District Council has looked at several options to combat the birds in St Ives and has decided to release hawks to scare the seagulls away.

The council says the hawks will be carefully controlled, flying from and returning to an experienced handler.

Council Environmental Health experts said seagulls cause problems, such as stealing food, especially in summer.

'Nasty behaviour'

Rebecca Kirk, from the Environmental Health Department, said: "We get quite a lot of calls in the summer months, two to three a week from people who say that seagulls have swooped down and taken ice cream and food out of their hands."

Bird handler, David Erwood from NBC Bird Solutions, said using the birds of prey is a first for his company.

"This is the first time we have tried flying birds from a beach to see if we can modify the gulls' behaviour.

"We've never tried it with birds on the coast before, mainly because birds are meant to be on the coast, unfortunately these birds have learnt a particularly nasty form of behaviour."

'No answers' to seagull nuisance
29 Nov 06 |  Glasgow and West

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