Falcon deterrent a flying success

NBFP Falcon ps1336-8'Holly Raper Falcon Morrisons Bridlington Pictured By Pam Stanforth ps1336-8
NBFP Falcon ps1336-8'Holly Raper Falcon Morrisons Bridlington Pictured By Pam Stanforth ps1336-8

A battle of the birds has certainly ruffled the feathers of the seagull population in one area of Bridlington.

Every Monday morning Holly Raper, 19, of East Riding Pest Control lets her falcons fly around Morrisons’ car park in order to scare away seagulls as their natural predator.

Holly’s other jobs including clearing nests and eggs around the supermarket, smashing gull eggs and dismantling nests to prevent the birds from coming back.

She has seen a huge improvement since she began work at the store four-years-ago, and explained how her work could benefit other areas of Bridlington.

She said: “A few years ago Morrisons had a very serious problem of seagulls nesting on the store people couldn’t get out of their cars to get into the store. It is a great boost for companies to say that we have got the birds under control in an environmentally friendly way.

“The falcons do not kill anything, they just fly around and the seagulls see them and think oh my goodness I’m getting out of here!”

However Holly admitted that the birds scared away from Morrisons will simply nest elsewhere in the town.

“I do think we could help with the problem on the seafront. We would go down really early in the morning, flying round the birds and using a distress box which emits a seagull distress call, calling them away,” said Holly who has handled falcons since she was three.

Previously she has worked with the birds at Britax in Bessingby Industrial Estate, Bridlington, and said over the three years work there the number of breeding pairs dropped from 200 to around 80.

Richard Bradley, manager at Morrisons, said: “It is just great to see every Monday morning when they send them up there and you can just hear these seagulls starting to panic and fly away. It has been a massive help clearing up and we are going to continue using the birds.”

Mr Bradley said at any one point before the falcons were introduced there could be over 50 gull nests on the roof of Morrisons.

“They are a menace. They were making a mess of the car park. All the public pathways was just messed and it was all over the cars. There was damage to the roof and feathers getting in the extractor fans and air conditioning. We are just protecting our customers and it was protecting our contractors and our staff.”

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