Wetherspoons buy falcon and install shrieking alarm to stop seagull attacks

A Devon Wetherspoons has cleverly installed a shrieking alarm to keep pesky seagulls away from the pub after the addition of a peregrine falcon was deemed a success.

It comes after complaints about the thuggish birds have doubled since their nests became protected, it has been revealed.

A new report by The Sunday Times showed that in the five years since new rules came in to protect nests and eggs attacks have risen from 544 in 2016 to 1,075 in 2021.

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The Imperial pub has been experimenting in a bid to prevent the birds from harassing drinkers in their beer garden including purcashing a peregrine falcon.

Gary, a front-of-house member of staff, said: “It is a big problem here – an absolute nightmare.”

A year ago, the pub purchased a peregrine falcon from local pest controllers – which they would allow to roam free around the grounds to scare off the gulls.

Gary admitted the success of Dev the falcon was a “great surprise” and the pub have been endorsing this unique solution for over a year now.

He said: “When the hawk is visible, the gulls won’t come anywhere near the pub – it’s crazy.

“When he’s here, the reaction is unbelievable, they just completely scarper – they are petrified of this little falcon.”

But due to restrictions Dev can only work once a month now which is what sparked the pub’s decision to install a shrieking siren at the top of their building.

And according to Gary it's only been partly successful.

He admitted: “We have a big outdoors area with 700 covers, so it’s a big space and we cannot monitor all of it.

“When these gulls are hungry, nothing is going to stop them.

“Also, it is their feeding season – and these birds will stop at nothing to feed their young.

“Luckily people here are very understanding and we haven’t had any severe cases of seagulls snatching people’s food.

“But we’ve got to be really quick clearing the tables.”


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