Falconers defend Miramar from invading seagulls

Lawrence Eady, Staff Writer

Nobody wants a beautiful day of rest and relaxation ruined by the constant seagull banter of “Mine! Mine! Mine!” and the potential “treats” that the birds drop as they fly around. Management of the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito is very aware of this desire and has taken action to prevent it from happening again to their guests. Those in charge of the Miramar recently hired Adam’s Falconry Service, a bird control company and falconry school, to deter seagulls and crows from nesting.

Before the service was hired, there was a surplus of unwanted birds flying around, causing problems for guests and leaving behind unwanted messes. Thanks to the falcon trainers and their winged partners that have been welcomed onto the grounds, that problem has been dealt with. Falconry services like Adam’s recognize that there are a multitude of birds that call beaches their home. Because of this, these companies train their falcons to target their hazing on the larger birds such as seagulls and crows, the ones that present more of a threat to guests, while leaving the smaller ones alone in their habitat.

The Miramar is not the first business to have hired a falconry service to address their unpaying feathered guests. Adam’s Falconry Service, which, according to their website, specializes in “cutting edge environmental bird control techniques to continually work to decrease our environmental footprint,” has been hired to work at many different resorts, beaches, vineyards, airports, golf courses, and even landfills.

According to BBC Earth, falcons have taken the place of other, more potentially disturbing methods of deterring seagulls, such as launching fireworks into the air where the seagulls are flying. While this method is not as common at a beach resort, it has been used in many landfills, where workers deal with a daily dose of loud seagulls in their work zone. 

The problem with hiring a falconry service lies in the depth of pockets that one must have in order to keep the predators flying in their area. In an interview with Elizabeth Ashby of produce news company The Packer, Tim Christian, a master falconer based in Venice, California, mentioned that the cost of hiring a falcon service could run up to as much as $1,000. That cost is not a grand total, it is a daily charge. That number may appear rather large, but for the Miramar resort, which averages $634 a night for a room, the cost of flying a falcon far outweighs the potential of a guest leaving due to a piece of seagull fecal matter falling in their Mai Tai as they relax on the beach.