Hawkeye News & Bulletins
This job is for the birds
Waterloo Region Record
One of Hawkeyes bird control technicians was featured in the Odd Jobs Series, an occasional feature in The Record, written by Greg Mercer. It features local people that have unique and interesting jobs. Hawkeyes bird control technician is a falconer.
She has trained her partner, a four-year-old Harris Hawk using the art of falconry to hunt and scare pest birds in an effective and humane manner. Featured in this article is their work at the Region of Waterloo Landfill where they work 3 days a week to control the bird populations. Birds of prey fly overhead of dump sites where hundreds and gulls and crows are attracted to food waste.
Over an eight-hour shift, a technician and bird of prey will patrol the land with the technician on the ground and the hawk in the sky to chase away these pest birds. "It's like having a Great White Shark, and it's feeding and it's hungry" said Dan Frankian, owner of Hawkeye Bird and Pest Control, the company on contract to the landfill. The region wants to control the bird population at the landfill for two reasons. Feeding frenzies can block the vision of bulldozer drivers, making them unsafe; and the birds can spread garbage and disease to neighbouring suburbs and retails areas. Since the landfill started using birds of prey to control the problem about eight years ago, the bird population has dropped off dramatically. In the past, the landfill tried shotguns, noise systems, decoys and kites to scare the gulls and crows away. But keeping the birds at bay remains a constant battle.