Using Falcons as Scarecrows at The Royal Haciendas

You’ve all watched the noisy black birds that boldly strut around the pool area and squabble among themselves as they steal food from plates waiting to be removed from restaurant terraces. Known as great grackles (zanate in Spanish or pich in Maya), these gregarious birds are so abundant that they have become pests in many resorts, including Royal Resorts. Any number of scarecrows have been tried in the past, including life-size model owls, but the birds keep coming back. Not any more. At The Royal Haciendas falconry is being used to scare the birds away.

A professional falconer is visiting the resort every week with an eagle or hawk on his arm. The bird of prey is flown in areas where the grackles are a particular nuisance and the appearance of a predator scatters the birds.

The ancient art of falconry is interesting for guests to watch and these natural scarecrows do seem to be effective. They drive the grackles off but do not kill them.

This environmentally friendly form of pest control is a much better option than other eradication methods such as poison, which would contaminate the water supply and enter the food chain affecting other species.


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