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    Birds of prey winging their way to New Brighton to stop seagulls nesting on roof of resort development

    NewsBirds of Prey NewsThursday 09 February 2012
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    Birds of prey are winging their way to New Brighton to stop seagulls nesting on the roof of the resort’s new cinema.
     
    Taffy the hawk has become a regular visitor to the Marine Point development in a bid to protect The Light Cinema’s broadcasting equipment from the troublesome gulls.
     
    Wendy and Robert O’Neill of Birkenhead-based Falconry Bird Control were asked for their help in a bid to find a natural solution to the problem.
     
    Taffy does not fly or attack the seagulls but his presence is enough to deter them.
     
    Mrs O’Neill said: “It’s an environmentally friendly way of dissuading the gulls from nesting or perching on the satellite equipment.
     
    “Our remit is to keep them off the roof because they build nests there. They can then break down and interfere with mechanical equipment up there like air conditioning unit.
     
    “New Brighton is a fantastic habitat for birds – our concern is just keeping them off the roof.”
    Wendy and Robert own four hawks and Taffy’s feathered friends Madge and Freddie have also been brought to the resort. They also work on bird control in Birkenhead, Bromborough and Liverpool.
     
    Mrs O’Neill said: “The gulls are quite canny – they know that a bird of prey is a predator so they’re on alert. If they think a predator is on the roof they won’t want to encroach on its territory.
     
    “At the moment we take one at a time but as we move into the breeding season the gulls become more tenacious. At that point we might take two.”
     
    Several town councils in North Wales already use birds of prey to deter pigeons and other seaside scavengers.
     
    Rory Wilmer, operations manager at The Light Cinema, said: “We have live broadcasts of opera and ballet and we need to protect our equipment.
     
    “Taffy does have an effect and the gulls really do stay away.
     
    “We’ve adopted him as our new member of staff!”
     
    Source: Wirral News
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