A pigeon problem in Ventnor could soon be resolved thanks to one unlikely deterrent.
Ventnor Town Council has employed Rentokil Pest Control to bring in a Harris Hawk to soar through the skies of the town to scare off the birds.
In recent weeks, the town has seen an influx of the pigeons, so the hawk “Sharka”, has been brought in to help.
Layla Bennett, from Rentokil Pest Control, said:
“There are a number of different methods that can be used for pigeon control, some of those are lethal, the council would prefer to stay away from lethal methods if possible. We’re looking at, first of all, to use hawks to disturb the pigeons, instead of killing. There’s also methods that involve netting or spiking but these can be quite unsightly.
“Shaka is a male Harris Hawk and he will be literally present in the area, flying around under the control of his falconer and that will deter the pigeons wishing to live here. We are yet to create the bird’s management plan but I expect he will be required between once or twice a week.”
For residents who may be worried about red squirrels in the area, Layla has this message:
“Your red squirrels are exceptionally safe. Our hawks are what we call ‘social imprints’, which are used to being hand-fed by people. The hawk will return to its falconer for a gift of food. He’s not a hunting birds he won’t catch any red squirrels. I’m a huge admirer of red squirrels myself.”