News & Events

East Sussex Falconry Flys to Move Starlings at Eastbourne Marina


In order to prevent the mess starlings and pigeons cause to vessels, Eastbourne Marina has employed the East Sussex Falconry’s natural methods to move the birds and prevent them roosting on boats in the future.

The first trial took place on 31st October, and a twice-week-flight course began mid-November and will take place for 12 weeks. The 12 week programme, costing in total £2,400, utilises a professional falconry company to naturally deter these birds from the South Coast marina, moving them towards the green spaces and gardens. The falcons are fully fed when they fly and they do not harm or catch the birds, they simply deter them from the area. The reduction of starlings roosting on vessels in the marina will stop any further damage and mess throughout the winter season.

Eastbourne Marina Manager, Dan Heckford, said: ‘The management of wild birds at the Harbour is an extremely sensitive subject. We certainly do not want to drive birds away from the harbour due to the many gardens and green spaces in the area. However, the damage being caused to vessels does mean we need to move the birds to more suitable areas such as the nearby gardens. East Sussex Falconry will fly twice a week over the berthing areas of the harbour. Having spent a couple of hours with them recently at the harbour, I have seen how their Lanner Falcons fly as a deterrent and how well they respond to their handler. These hawks do not catch wild birds at all, they are visible natural deterrents moving wild birds away from boats in the harbour.’