Fringe Box



Falcon Stops Gulls Messing With BMWs In Slyfield

Published on: 5 Feb, 2013
Updated on: 5 Feb, 2013
Falcon Kali

Jacob O’Neil with Kali – a four-year-old hybrid falcon bred from a peregrine and a lanner, about to patrol Slyfield – Photo Mark Insoll.

Droppings from gulls were such a problem for a car showroom in Slyfield that a falconer has been operating to tackle the problem.

Jacob O’Neil, of Surrey Bird Control said: “Nimble and opportunistic black-headed gulls had begun to congregate downwind of food waste, above a BMW franchise, leading to a large car cleaning bill.

“Seagulls are a protected species and therefore cannot be caught or killed unless a license has been granted by Natural England and there was no need to kill any gulls in this case.

Falcon Kali at rest

Falcon Kali at rest, showing off her plumage.

“I have been working there four days a week over the winter period to prevent the gulls from congregating. I flew a falcon bred and trained specifically for bird control work. The job has been completed, successfully, I think, and my work is finished there.

“I work at a number of sites around Surrey and Hampshire as a bird controller, deploying hawks, falcons and dogs to control pest populations. I am quite flexible and will negotiate hourly, daily, weekly or seasonal rates in order to provide an ethical and comprehensive solution to any avian problem.”

So, if you have a bird problem Jacob can be contacted at:  or via his website

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Responses to Falcon Stops Gulls Messing With BMWs In Slyfield

  1. Malcolm Fincham Reply

    February 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I was quite saddened when I read this report. This so called ‘problem’ has existed for many years and long before the garage moved onto this site. It seems to me a typical case of how man moves in, decides he does like something, so moves it on to make it someone else’s problem.

    Gull numbers have decreased alarmingly in the past 30 years, with some species now on the RSPB’s ‘red list’. No doubt the problem is man-made. I feel a lot more money should be put into researching why?

    p.s No disrespect to the falconer of who I’m sure does commendable work.

  2. David Rose Reply

    February 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I have to say that I scooped (excuse the pun) the story of Slyfield’s messy gulls some three years ago when in my role as a senior journalist at the Surrey Advertiser.

    I was visiting the BMW Mini garage in Moorfield Road on another story and the staff told me about the droppings, not only on the showroom roof, but covering cars (new and those in for service) parked behind the showroom.

    I passed the story on to one of my reporters who wrote it up. It seemed then that the problem was the collected household food waste, in the green biodegradable bags we use, was being stored in the open before going on to the next stage of disposal.

    After the story was published I believe some efforts were made to keep the green bags covered.

    It also seems as if the crafty gulls knew when the refuse trucks came in and then, somewhat as in Hitchcock’s film The Birds, gathered in numbers for dinner!

    I agree with Malcolm that it is a shame to hunt these birds when there must be a solution man can implement to what is our after all our creation. Thought we were trying to save the planet with all this recycling!

    And I have always thought it odd that prestige motor dealers have chosen to create Guildford’s ‘motor city’ right next to a traditional refuse tip and waste transfer station.

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    February 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    With the ever increasing cost of motoring it will not just be the gulls that will be prevented from putting deposits on cars!

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