AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Hawks to the Rescue, or…

Do you have a bird problem? If you do, you can use a 4000 year old technique to get rid of it. The technique is falconry. In a recent article, Nricco Iseppi explained how he brought his talents to Water Garden office park in Santa Monica, California.

Photo by Tobyotter

Two hawks, known as Mowgli and Melvin, are brought to the Water Garden three times a week and put on “pest control.” The Water Garden had a pest problem, specifically with seagulls. The idea is that the trained hawks would fly around the office park and when they see a seagull, they would scare it away. When the day is over, Mr. Iseppi would blow a whistle and the hawks would return to him.

I see seagulls all the time, but I never really consider them “pests.” Sure they fly around and usually stay with other seagulls but I don’t really see why people would want to get rid of them. We learn in biology about the food chain. If one part of that chain is disrupted, then the whole system will fail. What this article fails to mention is how this idea of falconry affects the surrounding environments.

Falconry has become very popular on the west coast. From San Diego to Seattle, birds of prey are being used to control other species’ populations. If this technique becomes too popular, what will happen to the species that is pushed out of the original environment? For example, if we look at New York City with all of the pigeons and have another bird come in to keep them all out, what will happen to the pigeon population?

Falconry is great for the short term, but where are all of the birds going to move to?


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1 Comment

  1. rawgdog

    Awesome post biorob! I think it’s so cool that people are able to essentially control animals by utilizing other animals. This post reminded me of another article I read a while back about how scientists can control Fruit Flies by shining lasers at them. What’s actually happening is that the lasers are stimulating certain neurons. In fact, to test their hypothesis they originally did their testing on decapitated flies and astonishingly the flies were still reacting and flying. I wonder what other animals can be controlled by controlling their nervous systems.

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