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  • What the best time of year to start pest deterrent and for how long.
    Deterrent for most pest species can normally start at any point within the year but there are times a higher pressure of deterrent is needed such as the breeding season and when birds return to the UK from their migration. For the best results, knowing when to start deterrent is important this is decided by looking at each bird species behaviour patterns ideally starting just before breeding season as birds nest are protected by law. The general licence allows for some species nest to be disturbed or removed but for gull nests we cannot touch or interfere with unless we have a special licence specific to your site as each site is treated case by case but this licence is rarely granted. A bird that has built its nest is far more difficult to deter as the need to protect its nest and young outweighs its survival instincts. For example we are all probably used to seeing gulls dive booming and attacking staff and members of the public as we venture too close to their nests. As a general rule seagull deterrent should start in February and continue until July. Pigeons require all year round deterrent with an increased presents between March and July. Starlings also require all year round deterrent with extra pressure during and just before the breeding season from February to March and during the return of migratory colonies between September and October. Corvidae require pest deterrent throughout the year due to the many bird species within this family. We will not list all the breeding seasons. Please contact us for more information but as a general rule most birds within the UK nest between the beginning of March until the end of July due to the UK weather.
  • What is bird pressure
    Bird pressure refers to the desire and determination for the bird to regain its territory, this normally is determined by how valuable the environment is to the bird, does it contain resources such as shelter, food and so on. It is important to understand that different areas of a site may consist of different pressure levels that should all be taken into account rather than focusing on the site as a whole.
  • What are the pressure levels and why are they important
    Having a good understanding of the bird pressure levels allows us to respond to a pest problem effectively and in doing so saving you money in the long term. Different pressures levels and the layout of your site will determine what method can be used and how frequently deterrent is required. We class areas within a site under three different pressure levels these consist of light, medium and heavy. To look at the species specific behaviour traits and the local environment a scale is used with six factors to determine the bird pressure. These consist of food source, building attractiveness, alternative sites, resident flocks, other flocks and overall pressure.
  • Do you offer other bird deterrent services
    We are a small business focusing on providing the best services we can with a passion for falconry and bird behaviour due to this our main focus is on falconry deterrent but we do offer other services that pair with our eco criteria. We often offer these as a supplement with our falconry, but can offer them as a complete service without the falconry. For a list of these services please check out the falconry addon list on the services page. We are slowly growing as a business which gives us opportunity to offer new methods and services. One of which we are currently looking into is using drone technology in the near future, but if your looking for something in particular please contact us and we will see what we can do or provide you with other companies we trust.
  • Why sign a contract with us
    Our contracts are designed to allow us to give a discount. within this method a number of hours to be carried out between the specified dates this allows us to work with you to allocate hours where needed most and to move hours if needed making this a more flexible plan. We log all hours spent on site. If due to bad weather we are unable to carry out all the designated hours we will continue until they are all used after the end date or if you are renewing the contract with us we can deduct the cost of the left over hours from your next contract. Payments are monthly rather than upfront and we will split the overall bill equally over each month. If you require additional hours we can add them to the remainder of the contract or add them as one off payment same for any extras.
  • What is your quoting process
    We will come to your site and survey your area have a look at how many pests are within the area and we will ask questions related to the issue and look at the pressure levels throughout the site to determine the overall levels, We will then head back to our office and produce a plan. It will include the minimum amount of visits to have an effect and our recommended amount but the more hours and visits the better generally. We will also include a risk assessment and some suggestion of additional deterrent control and proofing that we believe would benefit your site. These may be available through us or other companies and some options may be done by yourselves. We do this to help our customers out and get the best results possible it's optional.
  • Are you insured
    Yes we are insured for £5,000,000 public liability for pest control and bird deterrent (including the use of birds of prey, rifles and shot guns), birds of prey displays, educational talks, falconry courses (including public handling) and wedding ring delivery, hawking and hunting experience days (including public handling) and horticultural works. Our insurance provider is Cliverton.
  • What are general licences and do I need to apply for one
    These licences are issued by government agencies and relate to activities such as pest control relating to wildlife allowing a legal basis to carry out said activities. You do not need to apply for them as long as you meet their terms and abide by their conditions. We recommend that anyone hiring us reads through and has a thorough understanding of their terms and conditions before we start work at your site. All of the general licences are made publicly available at government agencies such as Defra and Natural England. These licences are renewed annually so it is important to stay up to date with any changes. We mainly operate under GL40 GL41 and GL42. A link below will take you to the licences
  • Do you need roof access
    This entirely depends on the site. If the site has small rooves for our hawks they will simply fly up there but if a large roof like a shopping centre we ideally would like to go on the roof with our birds as we always keep them in sight if roof access is available. If we are installing any deterrent devices then roof access will lower the cost as we will not need to hire equipment such as cherry pickers.
  • Do you shoot gulls and disturb nests
    The gull population is sadly in decline throughout the UK due to many reasons such as moving inland and eating human food and so on. Natural England has revoked their general licence but a special licence is available for shooting and disturbing nests, this must be applied for and many will be rejected. We do not offer shooting or nest removal for gulls as it conflicts with our eco values and needs a special licence specific to your site but we do offer deterrent for areas before nesting and areas that don't have nests. We advise deterrent start in February before nesting season and proofing nesting sites. Another simple way to help prevent gulls from becoming a problem is public education to not feed them, we are currently working on signs for this. Lastly bird proof bins are a great help as it lowers the food resources.
  • Do you clean areas covered in bird dropping.
    The answer to this is yes and no. We will clean areas in which we need a clean surface to attach a product such as eco gels and bird spikes and maintain them. We don't offer a full cleaning service, this is due to having our own birds and to reduce the risk of cross contamination especially as bird flu is a constant risk.
  • Do you offer netting services
    Unfortunately we do not offer netting as it take a lot of skill to do correctly and knowledge of building structure. We as a company decided to focus on deterrent and bird behaviour to perfect the service we offer. If netting would be beneficial in areas when we do our quotes/survey we can point you in the right direction.
  • Do you only offer bird control related services
    At this moment in time we only focus on birds as we specialise in bird behaviour but we do plan to branch out into other animals in the future that would benefit from an eco approach. If your looking for control, deterrent or prevention for other animal such as dear or rabbits and so on, please contact us and we can recommend trusted providers.
  • What can we do ourselves to help with a pest problem on a budget
    First you need to find out why you have the problem, is it for food? We suggest removing any food sources, educating the public and securing bins so food cannot be taken out. If it's due to roosting, proofing methods are required, sometimes a simple bird scarer is all you need in a small low pressure case or something reflective such as reflective tape or CDs.
  • Will falconry work in heavy pressure areas
    As falconry works on the natural predator and prey relationship and the pest birds innate behaviour of survival and self preservation, falconry will always be effective at any pressure level. but the amount of time needed during sessions and the amount of session will be determined by the pressure level and the site lay out.
  • Why do I need multiple visits
    The way falconry works as a deterrent is to claim the local area as the bird of preys territory making it too dangerous for the pest bird to feed, roost or nest. When the area is under a high bird pressure more visits and longer sessions would be required for the bird of prey to secure the area. Even at low pressure a regular visit is required to enforce the territory otherwise the pest birds will quickly move back in, thinking the predator has relocated.
  • Does the bird of prey need to be a native bird to be effective.
    Prey species that become pest on many different sites throughout the UK are born with survival instincts to alert them to a predator such as a hawk or falcon. Species all share similarity with other species within their genes and all share a similar outline and silhouette so a non native hawk is seen just as threatening as a native one. We prefer using female harris hawks they are native to US Mexico border and throughout Central and South America. We use these birds as they are very adaptable and social birds making them ideal working birds for many different areas. We use a mixture of native and non native falcons for large open areas such as fields.
  • Do your birds need to fly to be effective.
    It goes without saying that flying would always be more effective mainly as it allows the birds to get to places we cannot normally reach. Saying that the difference between flying or not is very small just walking around the site is still effective. We always try to fly our birds on your site but this is not always possible due to the risk and the location. We will look at all risks of each site toward the birds, public/staff and property. Depending on the risk we can also fly our birds on a line allowing us more control on where they can go, the birds are used to this method as it is an important part of their training.
  • I have a falcon statue or kite but its not effective will falconry be the same
    Statues and kites of falcons can be effective and we even recommend them as a budget option or to work along side the falconry. With kites we recommend buying premium/high quality as cheap ones do not last long, these can be purchased and installed through us. The reason why many people go wrong with this method is they underestimate the pest birds intelligence. If they are not regularly moved around the site and taken down time to time the birds quickly realise they are fake and pose no threat. Many sites will put statues and kites in areas difficult to access and forget about them. Falconry does not have this problem as they are the real deal and the other birds will instantly know they are real and their natural instinct will see danger and get out of the area to safety.
  • Do you interact with members of the public
    Quite often we are working under the eye of the public and falconry is not something you see often so we do get approached by members of the public asking questions. We are happy to chat and answer their questions as long as it does not take us away from the job your paying us for. We have been told by many of our clients that this actually has a positive effect on the company image as we always explain how beneficial this service is and how its more environmentally friendly than other methods. To us the pest deterrent work always comes first making sure we deliver the best results. We are looking at doing display work in the near future as we grow our bird team.
  • Can the birds Injure staff and members of the public
    Due to the sharp talons and beaks of the birds of prey they are capable of puncturing and cutting into skin so there is always a risk. We mitigate this risk by training the bids to come back when called but also we will not fly the birds free in areas of high risk. We also do not allow anyone but our staff members to hold or touch the birds as an essential PPE a leather gauntlet must be worn when handling.
  • Can the birds of prey damage private property
    All birds of prey have sharp talons that they use to hunt their prey in the wild. This means they could puncture through material or scratch up paint work, to prevent this we will not fly birds in an area that we see as high risk for damage. We can also fly the birds on a line and walk around with them which is still effective if there is a possibility of damage. If its very low risk we do everything we can to mitigate that risk.
  • Will your birds steal food,
    This is incredibly unlikely as they only eat raw meat but some species are known for scavenging and may attempt that, but we do not use these for pest control.
  • Will your birds hunt and kill the pest
    We do not hunt with our birds but use fake prey for enrichment that does not resemble the pest we do not aim to kill and our birds often don't see the point as we the keepers are an easier food source. Birds of prey are natural hunters and its instinct is to hunt so they may chase a pest bird out of an area. We mainly use harris hawks and they prefer ground prey so its fairly unlikely they will chase anything. Falcons on the other hand may go for a bird but generally they hyper focus on the lure that is skilfully swung by the keeper. Even though falconry is a non kill service It is possible for our birds to chase a pest but this is incredibly rare and our staff members are all trained to quickly and humanly despatch the pest if needed.
  • Do your birds fly free and if they fly off how do you find them.
    We always prefer to fly our birds free during our visits if possible. We aim to fly our birds five to six days a week giving them a couple of rest days. Most birds of prey are incredibly lazy and will only fly for a short period of time a day to hunt their prey. The birds return to us as they see us as an easy food source and form a bond with their keepers. We train them using positive reinforcement, feeding them tip bits of food. We replicate our birds natural behaviour of hunting by flying them to their dinner. We do not starve our birds but keep them at their natural weight which is different for every individual a bit like humans. Our birds tend to do 15 to 20 flies before becoming too full for them to bother flying any more, we then reward them with their main dinner. We weigh our birds every day to insure they are at their peak performance and health similar to how an athlete would. Lastly do the birds fly away, this is very rare and normally happens due to a sudden change in weather such as wind or if someone spooks them. This normally results in the birds sitting in a tree until they feel safe to come back, if they do fly off we have GPS trackers fitted to them allowing us to find them or wait for them to come back on their own terms. We do not force our birds to fly its entirely up to the bird and the weather and when they are flying they are free unless in an area we think may be a risk where we fly them on a safety line.
  • We have seen at centres or online that some birds are tied to a perch do you do this and is it harmful
    Tying a bird to a perch is known as tethering, this method can be beneficial within specific scenarios. Firstly it allows falconers more safety if the bird's aggressive or new to them until a bond is formed. It also prevents a bird that spooks easily fly into the walls of their aviary injuring themselves. Some birds have better welfare tethered and so do better perched, its down to the bird. Falconry is starting to move away from tethering and preferring aviaries where the birds can fly and hop about freely. We at the Falcons Quiver keep all our birds in aviaries but we still value tethering for short term use. We tether the birds during cleaning as it's nicer than a travel box, on nice warm sunny days the birds like to go out on the lawn for a few hours and sunbath. Tethering insures they don't eat each other or the neighbours cats or small dogs. We also tether for display work unless its an owl as they stay in aviaries. Bringing the birds out of their aviary is good stimulation and enrichment for them, if the birds do not like it and constantly try to fly off we put them back in their aviaries.
  • Why do birds of prey wear hoods is it cruel
    Birds of prey especially falcons can easily get stressed due to external stimulus. This is mainly due to their incredible vision being able to see objects such as a predator like a larger bird of prey or a dog in the distance or even prey or something they just don't like. The hood is a gentle way of blocking their vision calming them down, this is a method used on many different animals. You often see vets putting recovering animals in dark rooms or covering their heads with a towel and some animals like rabbits will naturally stare into a corner. This is because if they cannot see what's stressing them to them its not there. A hood is an essential bit of kit in falconry for stress management allowing us to deliver the best welfare possible. Its also worth saying that hoods are only used short term either for medical reasons or when out and about with the birds.
  • Do you worry about bid flu
    As our birds work in areas where there are wild birds we take bird flu very seriously and we always stay up to date on the infected zones and restrictions. If an area has got or recently had bird flu we will be unable to carry out any work until the area is deemed safe. This is why we do not offer a bird dropping cleaning service. The most common way bird flu is spread is actually on the treads of tyres and shoes so we make sure to always clean our boots before we enter our aviaries.
  • Do you require permits to shoot
    Depending on the firearm the owner the equipment and shooter need a firearm certificate this demonstrates that the firearm is secure and stored in a safe place only accessible to the certificate holder and that they are in good mental health to possess a firearm. Shooting as long as it meets the criteria of the general licence is legal but the land owner is responsible in the eyes of the law so we encourage all our clients to read up on the general licence before our work begins We are happy to help and provide information and useful links if required. We notify the police where we are shooting even when this is not legally required as it is a good practice to alert them to prevent any misunderstanding even within a rural environment.
  • What birds do you shoot
    There are many bird species that shooting may apply to if they meet the criteria of the general licences but we are mainly called out to shoot pigeons and crows.
  • Does shooting damage property
    There is always the risk of damage but we mitigate as much as possible by shooting at angles and locations where there is no risk of damage and using the correct firearms for the job. Our preferred is a 177 air rifle it does the job and is less likely to cause damage. So in all there is a risk but is very low.
  • Do you remove the carcasses
    We remove the carcass from your site and freeze them until they are taken for incineration.
  • As a company with eco values and care for the welfare of animals why do you shoot.
    To us shooting is a necessary part of pest control unfortunately, but we only carry out this work strictly when needed and there is no other option. Killing an animal is not good welfare for obvious reasons and conflicts with our ethics, so we try to make up for this by using good equipment and training to dispatch the animal in ways that are quick and painless. With shooting we always aim for a clean shot to prevent any pain and suffering. For our eco values, shooting can be beneficial as some pest species damage the environment. We also make sure we do not use lead as this can contaminate water sources resulting in poisoning and other environmental damaging effects.
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