Use of falcons to displace nesting gulls from an urban area: final report

Report following a 10-week trial of falconry flights within Dumfries Town Centre.

8. Recommendations for Enhancing the use of Falcons to Displace Gulls from an Urban Nesting Area.

  • The use of non-hunting falcons was unsuccessful so initiating an integrated deterrence programme utilising falcons trained to reinforce the impact of control is suggested.
  • Have flexibility to amend any programme whenever behaviour of gulls suggests they have built up a level of tolerance to any one technique. Use of complementary measures could include and should not be limited to; distress calls, kites, pyrotechnics, lasers etc.
  • Ensure any programme is in place and established prior to gulls returning to breed and settling into territories.
  • Consider sequential deterrence across different locales to offer greater coverage with less risk of habituation. i.e. implement sufficient deterrence to create high level disturbance for 2-3 days in each area, each week. Ideally target deterrence at disrupting arrival / settling, courtship, nest building, egg laying, and egg incubation. Keeping incubating birds off the nest for long enough to render eggs unsuccessful, for example, may be all that is required.
  • Target control over limited periods to cover key risks. E.g. fly birds intensively within streetscape environments at lunchtimes / school leaving hour.
  • Where possible, mark individual gulls to determine actual displacement consequences.
  • Continue programme through the breeding season towards late June to ensure consequences of programme are not just a delayed breeding season.


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