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Meet Hannah the Hawk - GBN’s expert bird scarer

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Meet Hannah the Hawk - GBN’s expert bird scarer

A Harris Hawk named Hannah is helping GBN to reduce the risk of bird strikes to aircraft flying over the company’s Southend depot in Essex.

The hawk and her handler Tim are employed by GBN to scare away seagulls and other birds from the site because it is on the flight path to London Southend airport.

“Bird are naturally attracted to waste so we take extra measures to avoid any incidents as bird strikes on planes are serious”, explains depot manager John Golding.

“She is here every day and just having a bird of prey on site is enough of a deterrent to keep all birds away.”

Harris Hawks are one of the easiest birds of prey to train and the most social, making them a highly effective means of bird control. The service is provided by T&C Bird and Pest Control Ltd, a local falconry business with over 15 years’ experience in flying hawks.

Mr Golding says that, while such measures were not enforced upon GBN, they reflect the importance of health and safety to the company.

He comments: “By having the hawk, we get no birds on site being a nuisance and it gives us total peace of mind.”

In recognition of these efforts, GBN was praised for its proactive approach by officials from Southend airport, who visited the depot in January.

Andy Walters, airside operations and safety manager for the airport, told the company: “We were very reassured by the efforts you are putting in to combat the wildlife risk and attractants at your depot.

“We very much wish to continue to see such regular positive and proactive action, as this helps us to reduce risk to life from bird strikes by overflying aircraft as they approach the airport over your facility.”

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