Harris hawk patrol hired to terrify Parade pigeons

Harris Hawk patrol hired to terrify Parade pigeons

Harris Hawk patrol hired to terrify Parade pigeons

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A Harris hawk has been released into the skies above Watford town centre to terrify pigeons away from the newly revamped Parade.

Watford Borough Council is cracking down on the feathery pests from today in an effort to prevent them soiling the £4.3million redevelopment.

Officials said the hawk, called Angel, has been trained not to maul the pigeons but only scare them away and described the method as the most "humane" available.

Angela Bigwood of A& M Hawk UK said: "The hawks will patrol the skies rather than hunt. We will keep them interested in the Parade area, but not motivated to predate other birds.

"Harris hawks are relatively timid and will not hunt anything much bigger or faster than them, but they will make urban pigeons feel suitably unwelcome."

Alongside its aerial assault, the council is also mounting an information campaign against town centre pigeons.

Alan Gough, the council’s head of community and customer services, added: "We want to keep the new Parade and Pond clean and tidy for all the family, and we felt the time was right to limit the numbers of urban pigeons in the Parade.

"By flying a Harris Hawk trained not to harm the pigeons, just deter them, we've found an effective but humane method of pest control."

Officers have been handing out leaflets encouraging people not to feed pigeons and the council has also commissioned a video, which compares the bird to rats.

The anti-pigeon initiative comes as the redevelopment of The Parade nears completion. Part of the project will see the northern end of the pedestrianised area de-cluttered and opened up to be used for cultural events.

Today the council also had a number of other birds on display alongside the Harris hawk including a great grey owl, a barn owl, a buzzard, a lanner falcon, and a Turkey Vulture named Inti.

 

Comments (12)

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6:11pm Mon 2 Jun 14

TRT says...

Have they got one of those to scare the s*** out of gum droppers? Or shall we just spend another, how much was it again? steam jetting the high street. One of Dotty's first pet projects, IIRC.
Have they got one of those to scare the s*** out of gum droppers? Or shall we just spend another, how much was it again? steam jetting the high street. One of Dotty's first pet projects, IIRC. TRT
  • Score: 6

6:17pm Mon 2 Jun 14

gusgreen says...

Should that not be politicians!!!
Should that not be politicians!!! gusgreen
  • Score: -3

6:20pm Mon 2 Jun 14

davidhornet says...

Steam jetting the pigeon s**t will be next on the agenda I guess, once this hawk gets to work. It must be a highly intelligent bird being trained to scare rather than maul. I just wondered how easy it will be to steam jet the new paving installed at great expense in The Parade, it looks a bit cheap and rough to say the least and was probably designed with Health and Safety in mind so that the late night revellers are less likely to fall over and sue Dotty's a**e off. The old stone slabs stood the test of time but these B&Q Budget Range slabs were obviously the cheapest the contractors could find. Yet another bonkers scheme from those in charge.
Steam jetting the pigeon s**t will be next on the agenda I guess, once this hawk gets to work. It must be a highly intelligent bird being trained to scare rather than maul. I just wondered how easy it will be to steam jet the new paving installed at great expense in The Parade, it looks a bit cheap and rough to say the least and was probably designed with Health and Safety in mind so that the late night revellers are less likely to fall over and sue Dotty's a**e off. The old stone slabs stood the test of time but these B&Q Budget Range slabs were obviously the cheapest the contractors could find. Yet another bonkers scheme from those in charge. davidhornet
  • Score: 13

6:38pm Mon 2 Jun 14

TRT says...

"Today the council also had a number of other birds on display alongside the Harris hawk including a great grey owl, a barn owl, a buzzard, a lanner falcon, and a Turkey Vulture named Inti"

You know, I misread that at first. I thought it said "a turkey venture called Intu."
"Today the council also had a number of other birds on display alongside the Harris hawk including a great grey owl, a barn owl, a buzzard, a lanner falcon, and a Turkey Vulture named Inti" You know, I misread that at first. I thought it said "a turkey venture called Intu." TRT
  • Score: 14

11:42pm Mon 2 Jun 14

blonde demon says...

just hope the hawk doesnt scare the pigeons over to where i live we have enough of them and land gulls as it is , we get sick of the things sh*****G over our car as it is can we borrow the hawk !!!
just hope the hawk doesnt scare the pigeons over to where i live we have enough of them and land gulls as it is , we get sick of the things sh*****G over our car as it is can we borrow the hawk !!! blonde demon
  • Score: 0

12:46am Tue 3 Jun 14

croxley46 says...

But has the Harris Hawk been potty-trained as well ......?
But has the Harris Hawk been potty-trained as well ......? croxley46
  • Score: 2

10:41am Tue 3 Jun 14

angryangryangry says...

If it scares the S out of the pigeons and it goes all over the new pavement, isnt that defeating the object?
If it scares the S out of the pigeons and it goes all over the new pavement, isnt that defeating the object? angryangryangry
  • Score: -1

11:37am Tue 3 Jun 14

garston tony says...

Is the hawk going to be a permanent feature, because if it isnt wont the pigeons just come back once its gone?
Is the hawk going to be a permanent feature, because if it isnt wont the pigeons just come back once its gone? garston tony
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Tue 3 Jun 14

inside-watford says...

Printed Decision.

Award of a 4 year hawk flying contract as part of the WBC pigeon control strategy for the town centre

The correct procurement process has been followed and the required revenue budget secured for this activity and contract. However due to the need for the contract to commence as the Parade is completed the contract needed to start on Monday (02.06.14) without giving the usual 28 day notice for this Key Decision (under officer delegation). The contract has a 4 year value of approximately £92,000.
Printed Decision. Award of a 4 year hawk flying contract as part of the WBC pigeon control strategy for the town centre The correct procurement process has been followed and the required revenue budget secured for this activity and contract. However due to the need for the contract to commence as the Parade is completed the contract needed to start on Monday (02.06.14) without giving the usual 28 day notice for this Key Decision (under officer delegation). The contract has a 4 year value of approximately £92,000. inside-watford
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Tue 3 Jun 14

WD18Firm says...

It's not the mess caused by pigeons we need to be concerned about.

What about the vomit and other party detritus your have to pick your way through on Saturday mornings?
It's not the mess caused by pigeons we need to be concerned about. What about the vomit and other party detritus your have to pick your way through on Saturday mornings? WD18Firm
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Tue 3 Jun 14

TRT says...

inside-watford wrote:
Printed Decision.

Award of a 4 year hawk flying contract as part of the WBC pigeon control strategy for the town centre

The correct procurement process has been followed and the required revenue budget secured for this activity and contract. However due to the need for the contract to commence as the Parade is completed the contract needed to start on Monday (02.06.14) without giving the usual 28 day notice for this Key Decision (under officer delegation). The contract has a 4 year value of approximately £92,000.
£92,000? Chicken feed.
[quote][p][bold]inside-watford[/bold] wrote: Printed Decision. Award of a 4 year hawk flying contract as part of the WBC pigeon control strategy for the town centre The correct procurement process has been followed and the required revenue budget secured for this activity and contract. However due to the need for the contract to commence as the Parade is completed the contract needed to start on Monday (02.06.14) without giving the usual 28 day notice for this Key Decision (under officer delegation). The contract has a 4 year value of approximately £92,000.[/p][/quote]£92,000? Chicken feed. TRT
  • Score: 1

6:43pm Wed 4 Jun 14

lioncurlew says...

The Vulture wil circle around looking for Binge drinkers that are either dead or appear so, and must be a two ship hawk patrol, Denzil and Angel.....The Barn Owl will be the lookout!
The Vulture wil circle around looking for Binge drinkers that are either dead or appear so, and must be a two ship hawk patrol, Denzil and Angel.....The Barn Owl will be the lookout! lioncurlew
  • Score: 0

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