SEAGULLS and pigeons in Scarborough have been nervously looking over their shoulder this week after they first caught a bird’s eye view of an ominous new shadow.
It has been cast by a hawk-shaped kite which is currently being flown above Scarborough Cricket Ground in North Marine Road in an effort to deter pigeons and seagulls from nesting in the area.
The idea is being trialled by Scarborough Council’s environmental health officers and it is the first time it has been used in the town.
The hawk kite has been installed to disrupt the birds and deter them from roosting and nesting on the north stand of Scarborough Cricket Ground.
Steve Pogson, the council’s health and community safety manager, said: “The council is always willing to try new techniques to resolve the seagull and pigeon infestations of the town from causing damage to buildings and a nuisance to people and their property.
“The hawk kite is being used on a trial basis for a couple of weeks to see if it does stop the birds nesting at this location. We hope it will prove successful so we can use this method elsewhere in the borough.”
This method of scaring birds is often used by farmers as a way of protecting their crops and the kite is flown from a large pole – it swoops, dives and climbs in the wind and appears like a real hawk.
Many species of bird are naturally afraid of predators such as birds of prey and the kite exploits this instinctive fear which makes them restless and unlikely to build nests in the surrounding area.
Mr Pogson said that the trial was being run with the cooperation of Scarborough Cricket Club.
He added: “It’s a long standing issue with roosting and nest birds but it’s a difficult area to proof against them. It is an innovative idea. It makes the birds uncomfortable.
“It’s very much a trial and we will wait and see what happens.”