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‘Super falcons’ on patrol in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 09:50 14 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:47 17 March 2014

Johnathan and Pearl. Photo by Eve Mathews.

Johnathan and Pearl. Photo by Eve Mathews.

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‘Super falcons’ have gone on patrol in Sidmouth on an airborne mission to scare away scavenging seagulls.

Jonathan Marshall from Raptorforce is pictured on the Sidmouth seafront this week with Pearl, a tribrid falcon used to scare seagulls and prevent them from nesting. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 5633-10-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24. Jonathan Marshall from Raptorforce is pictured on the Sidmouth seafront this week with Pearl, a tribrid falcon used to scare seagulls and prevent them from nesting. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 5633-10-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

The town council has joined its counterparts in Exmouth and Seaton to splash out £15,000 in an effort to stop gulls nesting.

Falconer Jonathan Marshall, who is bringing the high-flying ‘bouncers’ to the resort three days a week, said: “The birds are crossed between a peregrine, gyr and saker falcon.

“Peregrines are the fastest, gyr are the largest and saker are very aggressive and persistent, which make a manmade super falcon.”

Two of Johnathan’s four birds – named Pearl, Morgan, Crouch and Thorne – will be on duty at any one time.

They will be out on patrol on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the end of July.

“We may have to do more because the gulls are very persistent.”

Johnathan said of his falcons: “Seagulls are petrified of them, but the birds don’t kill the gulls, that isn’t the idea.

“Their very presence is enough to scare the seagulls and prevent them from nesting.”

The Herald reported last month how it is hoped the move will deter nuisance gulls which disturb people who are eating and foul on buildings. The £15,000 for the project was supplied by the Parishes Together Fund.

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