A Harris hawk is being used to deter seagulls from nesting on a nearby block of flats. I'm concerned that this scares the garden birds away too. In response, the falconry company says:
"In fact, the opposite is true. Large hawks flown on the Estate will increase small songbird activity as Harris Hawks regularly flown on any Estate, will lower the number of crows, magpies and gulls which prey on songbirds and their nests. Large hawks are at the top of the food chain but do not prey on small birds. Cats pose the greatest risk to songbirds and small mammals."
I'm dubious but would love to hear an expert opinion on this.
I think there are two strands to this, and that they answered a question/concern that wasn't put to them, If you asked them whether Harris hawks scare birds away, they shouldn't be answering the question, 'do Harris hawks kill our small garden birds?' IMO, they are bound to scare birds away. That is the whole point of using them in instances they are called in for. Of course, I agree with the cats comment, and that crows, magpies and gulls prey on small birds and their nests.
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