|My Harris Hawk 'Coral'|
Not only do raptors provide a job well done in nature, such as rodent control (ecoservices) and biodiversity, but are helpful to human environments as well. Scavenging birds at landfill sites transmit disease to humans and other birds, and can be a nuisance or pose as a bird-strike hazard. Baxter and Allan (2006) examined the effectiveness between trained falcons (Falco spp.)
|Juvenile Female Red-tailed Hawk|
Baxter and Allan (2006) results showed no raptor species eliminated all scavenging birds but falcons reduced bird numbers more consistently. The results should not be surprising. Falcons are aggressive avian hunters and any bird has the potential to be their next meal. Avoiding this predator is a ‘must know’ in the bird world in order to survive. Hawk species hunt small mammals and are not as maneuverable as a falcon; therefore, the birds must know this either by life experience or instinct. Recently, there is an increase use of raptors in avian management in aviation flight lines and military airfields. Falconers in the United States are often used to prevent bird strikes at airports and military airbases globally.
Baxter, A. T., and J. R. Allan. 2006. Use of raptors to reduce scavenging bird numbers at landfill sites. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34:1162-1168.