Natural Pest Control

Alan Manson - Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) Uploaded by Snowmanradio Falco biarmicus -near Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa -flying-8a.jpg Wikimedia Coimmons

Yeah, “Natural Pest Control” sounds like a typical spammer subject line, but, in this case, it’s the real thing: rather than defaulting to traps and poison, some building owners have been hiring falcons to keep their balconies and balustrades free of pigeons.

The bird in the snapshot below is a contractor working for The Hawk Pros. He’s a new hire being acclimatized to the presence of people and noise before being put to work. His handler was sitting quietly by while shoppers at the farmers’ market that sets up every Wednesday morning at the Wilshire Courtyard in LA’s Miracle Mile wandered by.

There is, in fact, a number of wild falcons living atop LA highrises, including one at the Desmonds building two blocks east, whose morning calls I can hear from my home office window.

Though it may not be part of the LA cliché, in reality, this new bird in town will fit in with a city that boasts puma-prowled wildlands only five miles north of this intensely urban neighborhood.

Cover Image: Alan Manson – Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) Uploaded by Snowmanradio near Tugela Ferry, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa via Wikimedia Coimmons 

About Rick Risemberg

Rick was born in Argentina but grew up in Los Angeles, and has lived most of his life in Hollywood. He also spent several months living in Montmartre, in Paris, France, one of the most delightful as well as effective human scale communities anywhere, and now resides in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, a high-density and eminently walkable neighborhood where nearly his every need is within a twenty-minute stroll of the apartment. He maintains the Bicycle Fixation Webzine and Urban Ecology Forum; you may see them You may visit portfolios of his writing, photography, and web design work at