City plagued by psycho seagulls draft in Horatio the hawk hero

A city plagued by psycho seagulls has drafted in a hawk to scare them off.

Sunderland council bosses say they receive dozens of complaints about the aggressive pests every year.

The Harris hawk, called Horatio, was not bred to hunt so will not harm gulls It will patrol the city until September to deter nesting.

Hawk handler Glen Purves, of North East Falconry, said: “The birds we use are not bred to hunt so there is no real danger to the gulls.

“The hawk simply scares the seagulls and encourages them to choose somewhere else to nest.”

Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s environment chief, said: “When the weather is nice, and people want to visit a city centre attraction such as Mowbray Park, it’s a shame it can be ruined by nuisance gulls.

“I know a lot of residents, traders and visitors who will be pleased to hear these hawks are making a difference.

“The feedback we’ve had about the hawk patrols in the past has been excellent.

“The hawks themselves have become an added attraction for visitors.”It is the latest move by councils trying to get the country’s seagull problem under control.

Scarborough councillors said they planned to target the “stupid” people who feed them, after a spate of crazed gulls attacking humans.

And former Tory MP Alan Amos claimed protecting the nuisance gulls “puts the needs of vicious flying rats before the safety and health
of people”.

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