Falcon to keep pigeons from CT stadium

2013-09-25 22:11
Scarlet, the Peregrine Falcon.

Scarlet, the Peregrine Falcon. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has employed the help of a bird of prey to protect the pitch of the Cape Town Stadium against pigeons.

A Peregrine Falcon named Scarlet will be used to deter pigeons from feeding on the sports stadium. The pitch of the stadium is maintained by planting about 120kg of perennial rye seed each month, and pigeons consume up to 70% of the planted seed before it has time to germinate properly.

This means that the grass does not grow, and the activity of the pigeons make it difficult to keep the grass in the stadium dense enough for top quality sporting events.

Other stadiums around the world have had success by employing this method, using a bird of prey to keep pigeons away from the stadium.

The programme is non-lethal, and the aim is not to kill the pigeons, but to deter and change their behaviour. This means that the presence of the falcon in the stadium will cause the pigeons to adopt a new feeding pattern, away from the stadium.

The bulk of a wild Peregrine Falcons' diet consists of pigeon meat, which makes it a natural predator of pigeons. The Cape Peninsula has the higest concentration of Peregrine Falcons in the world.

Scarlet will be flown over the stadium every week for the next six months to reinforce the presence of the predator. After the six months are up, the frequency of the vists will be lowered to the level needed to manage the pitch properly.

Read more on:    cape town  |  birds  |  animals

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