There’s a pecking order at Deep Moor, one of our two resource recovery sites. Seagulls would like nothing more than to swoop across our 100 acre site, enjoying a gourmet buffet as our team sort through the daily collections. But our air patroller has put a stop to that.

Jack is a harris hawk, a bird of prey. He’s the boss of the avian kingdom – a natural predator who you wouldn’t want to mess with. Under the watchful eye of Horace his trainer, Jack soars across the site every morning, letting his presence be a death threat for scavengers. Horace controls him through a series of whistling commands and the irresistible offers of fresh meat from the glove.

This discourages gulls from coming anywhere near the site, where they could ingest chemicals, electrical equipment or bones. They could then go on to share diseases with the rest of the bird population and feed their young regurgitated toxins. If left to their own devices, birds can be a pest to the Coastal team by getting in the way and damaging machinery.

It’s a great job for a bird, with fringe benefits such as health care, a consistent supply of fresh meat and hawk housing.

Have a look at the video on our Facebook Page to see Jack in flight.