Devon towns employ falcons to keep seagulls in check!

Has anyone else ever had their ice cream stolen by a seagull?

During our Devon holidays last year, we were enjoying a day on Brixham harbour when a sneaky seagull swooped to steal Trixie’s Mr Whippy!

Well good news fellow ice cream lovers, the council’s of Seaton, Sidmouth and Exmouth have employed “super falcons” to keep these naughty seagulls in check!

Devon holiday towns employ falcons

It is hoped the falcons will scare the seagulls from the town centres, encouraging them to nest in nearby cliffs and feed out at sea. The birds of prey will also provide entertainment to tourists during their 3 shifts a week.

Falconer Jonathan Marshall 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."

"Seagulls are petrified of them, but the birds don't kill the gulls, that isn't the idea.

"The very presence is enough to scare the seagulls and prevent them from nesting."

If the weather’s bad Mr Marshall will fly an imitation falcon kite instead. Hopefully the weather’s nice and sunny when I’m at South Bay Holiday Park so I can go and see them – I love watching birds of prey!

Councils have asked the public to do their bit by not feeding and encouraging the seagulls – leaflets will be handed out locally to push the message.