Daily Star

Hawk hell for psycho gulls

Horatio patrol giving ‘flying rats’ the bird

- By JAMES CAVEN james.caven@dailystar.co.uk

A CITY plagued by psycho seagulls has drafted in a hawk to scare them off.

Sunderland council bosses say they receive dozens of complaints about the aggressive pests every year.

The Harris hawk, called Horatio, was not bred to hunt so will not harm gulls. It will patrol the city until September to deter nesting.

Hawk handler Glen Purves, of North East Falconry, said: “The birds we use are not bred to hunt so there is no real danger to the gulls.

“The hawk simply scares the seagulls and encourages them to choose somewhere else to nest.”

Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s environmen­t chief, said: “When the weather is nice, and people want to visit a city centre attraction such as Mowbray Park, it’s a shame it can be ruined by nuisance gulls. I know a lot of residents, traders and visitors who will be pleased to hear these hawks are making a difference.

“The feedback we’ve had about the hawk patrols in the past has been excellent.

“It seems that they do panic the gulls, and the hawks themselves have become an added attraction for visitors.” It is the latest move by councils trying to get the country’s seagull problem under control.

Scarboroug­h councillor­s said they planned to target the “stupid” people who feed them, after a spate of attacks on humans.

And former Tory MP Alan Amos insisted that protecting the nuisance gulls “puts the needs of vicious flying rats before the safety and health of people”.

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 ??  ?? TARGET: Gull & right, hawk
TARGET: Gull & right, hawk

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