BIRDS of prey are being used to scare away troublesome pigeons at North Solihull Sports Centre.
A specially-trained harris hawk has been brought in to frighten off the flocks of birds, which have nested on the roof for years.
But since the raptor arrived on the scene this month, the number of pigeons has plummeted from around 80 to 20.
Pied Piper Pest & Wildlife Management, based in Kingshurst, have worked at sites around the country - but this is one of their first jobs closer to home.
Gary Jackman, manager, said: “Falconry started as a hobby for me and I began to realise it was something that I could use in my business.
“There’s lots of ways of dealing with pigeons, but this is the most natural. Harris hawks are a lot slower than pigeons, so it’s not about killing them - just scaring them away.”
Parkwood Leisure, who run the Chelmsley Wood facility, said that the birds had been causing a nuisance for years and they were pleased to have found an environmentally-friendly solution.
Wayne Desmond, centre manager, said: “I am delighted that Gary has approached us with this alternative method, as it has been a cause for concern over the last few years and this may finally be the solution to our problem.”
It’s not the first time that birds have caused a flap in Solihull - last year there were reports of seagulls attacking workers at the Land Rover factory. And in a recent survey of town centre businesses, feral pigeons were named as one of the main concerns.
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