New Jersey town combats gull problem with raptors

Food-snatching gulls have become a growing problem in Ocean City, New Jersey. ©Ron Zanoni

How does a seaside tourist town keep gulls from pestering its patrons? Ocean City, New Jersey, has been using raptors to tackle the problem. The city has been contracting with East Coast Falcons to provide four hawks, two falcons and an owl to frighten away the gulls at a cost of $2,100 a day. “It’s reached a point where you can’t eat on the boardwalk or beach without birds flying at your hands and face. It truly has become a safety hazard,” Ocean City Mayor Jay A. Gillian told the New York Times. “I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure the boardwalk and beach experience in Ocean City is safe, family friendly and enjoyable.” The program started in early August and has been effective enough that the city has extended the hours the raptors are on patrol.

Read more from the New York Times here.