Mayor

Jersey Shore Officials Hope More Birds Will Fix Aggressive Seagull Problem

The team of seven GPS-tracked birds of prey will be on the boardwalk to keep the winged food thieves at bay

What to Know

  • Officials in Ocean City have turned to a team of falcons, hawks and an owl in order to help scare away some of the aggressive seagulls
  • The team of seven GPS-tracked birds of prey will be on the boardwalk to keep the winged food thieves at bay
  • On Monday, the moment one of the handlers carried a Harris’s Hawk onto the boardwalk, the noisy gulls quickly scattered

When it comes to battling the ongoing seagull problem on the Jersey Shore, this one’s for the birds.

Officials in Ocean City have turned to a team of falcons, hawks and an owl in order to help scare away some of the bullying birds, which have been aggressively hassling people walking along the boardwalk — especially if they have food.

After a spike in complaints, and one incident involving an infant left with facial scratches from a pesky bird, Ocean City mayor Jay Gillian turned to East Coast Falcons to help take care of the seagulls.

The team of seven GPS-tracked birds of prey will be on the boardwalk to keep the winged food thieves at bay.

On Monday, the results seemed to speak for themselves instantly. The moment one of the handlers carried a Harris’s Hawk onto the boardwalk, the noisy gulls quickly scattered. The handler said the birds were calling to each other as they flew away, anxious about the new predator on what they have been treating as their turf.

The predator birds will take turns flying in shifts day and night, all along the boardwalk. It is believed to be the first shore community to launch this kind of program on the East Coast. The goal is to safely scare away the pests without having to hurt any of them.

The program is said to cost Ocean City $2,100 per day, but those at the boardwalk seemed to think it was worth it.

Hawks, falcons and the owl will be flying over the area from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day through August — and if the program is successful, officials say it will return next year.

Contact Us