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A Hospital’s New Weapons Against Pigeons Are Baby Falcons

Small, but soon to be mighty.

Peregrine falcon.
Peregrine falcon. Mike Baird/Wikimedia/CC BY 2.0

Feral pigeons, which live on every continent in the world except Antartica, are famously adaptable—They shack up all over, from San Francisco to London to Mumbai.

They are also in Calgary, where around 200 of them have made their home on the roof of the South Health Campus, a 269-bed hospital. This was an unwelcome development, since pigeons can carry disease, and they poop a lot.

The hospital’s efforts to get rid of them—including with noise, which worked at first, before the birds got used to it—haven’t been successful, so recently they chose to get a little more serious. They’ve hired three baby peregrine falcons, according to the CBC, as a future anti-pigeon patrol.

A falconer, John Campbell, plans to release the falcons from the building, where it is hoped they will hunt down the pigeons and “other small game,” the CBC reports.

“You could [use] anything that would scare them, that would go after them as prey,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t have to be falcons but the falcons work very well.”

It will be a little time before the falcons get to the hunting, as just one has fledged so far. In the meantime, though, they’re being fed dead pigeons to give them a taste for pigeon blood.