Harris Hawks and Gull Management!

Jim Chiropolos

As I was leaving the Waste Management Facility next to Oyster Bay in San Leandro, I ran into a falconer with a Harris Hawk! The Waste Management District uses the hawks to mitigate gull numbers at the facility and For the falconer, Harris Hawks are preferred as a Peregrine will zoom all over the place. What a great green management tool! and the falconer reports gull numbers are down (sorry Noah!).

I was able to watch her fly the bird and the gulls ignore the hawk until the hood comes off - then they start watching!When the bird flies, the gulls scatter. The falconer reported a resident red-tail as she does not fly her bird when the red-tail is in the air. Once the redtail did see the Harris and dove and slammed it onto a roof. The Harris is present several days a week. This bird is probably not visible from next to the site as she flies the bird to keep a visual sight line.

Pretty cool stuff going on from an area I have biked and birded by many times without knowing.

Wow and what a lucky encounter today!

Jim Chiropolos, Orinda