A “small army” of birds of prey have been “hired” at a recycling centre in Inverness to keep seagulls away.
Three hawks and three falcons have been stationed at SUEZ Recycling and Recovery plant at Longman Industrial Estate in Inverness.
Seagulls are known to be scavengers and according to Richard Hinchcliffe, the centre’s regional manager, using birds of prey, “is a very effective and environmentally friendly way to scare away the gulls”.
Mr Hinchcliffe added: “We employ specialist handlers to provide bird control across many of our sites, including our waste transfer station in Inverness.
“You could say we have a small army of birds of prey lining up for duty each morning.
“In Inverness we work with a local falconer who has three hawks and three falcons.”
The birds have become a star attraction with the locals as the falconer regularly has them resting on perches at the site boundary fence.
The handler also flies the predators over the area on a regular basis to teach the seagulls that it is unsafe for them to fly and nest at the recycling centre.
Mr Hinchcliffe said: “Several birds of prey are used throughout a typical day, mainly to keep the seagulls guessing as to what is coming next and to share the workload around.
“By having several ‘on-duty’ at any one time also ensures the welfare of these rather special birds.”
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