Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 16:21 UK

Hawk solution for seagull problem

Harris hawk
Hawks could be used at different times of the day to confuse the seagulls

Hawks could be brought in to scare gulls away from the harbour area of a Cornish resort.

Holidaymakers have complained to officials about being dive-bombed by gulls trying to grab food.

Now, St Ives Town Council is considering bringing back hawks after the idea had some success during a trial in April last year.

Councillor Bill Fry said other options were also being considered to deal with the problem.

It's difficult to find one system that's totally effective
Bill Fry, St Ives Town Council

Council leaders hired a bird handler to patrol the area with a hawk, which was believed to have scared some of the gulls away in April 2007.

Mr Fry said there was a reduction in the number of seagulls when the hawk trial took place, but there was a concern the gulls could become used to the hawks and ignore them.

"One theory we're talking about this time is introducing the hawks at different times, which would hopefully disrupt the gulls," he told BBC News.

"Other methods have been mooted, like having covered areas, but that would detract from the harbour.

"It's difficult to find one system that's totally effective."

Mr Fry said the hawk proposal is likely to be put before the council in the New Year.

Hawk to fight against gull menace
27 Aug 08 |  Tayside and Central
Hawks fly in to tackle seagulls
18 Apr 07 |  Cornwall
'No answers' to seagull nuisance
29 Nov 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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