Falconry Based Bird Abatement (FBBA)

The sight of a hunting raptor does much to give birds pause for thought about vacating an area or at least dispersing and staying under cover. Falconers can use this behaviour to accomplish many things such as:

1) Protecting crops from bird damage that results in billions of dollars a year in losses to North American farmers (e.g. grapes, corn, cherries, blueberries, etc, etc).

2) Reducing aviation emergencies caused by bird strikes. St. John's International airport recorded 21 bird strikes in 2009. This is more than a 100% increase since the announced plan for closure of over 40 landfill sites in the Avalon region in 2002. The airport is adjacent to the now single regional landfill site with a known sea-gull control issue. Unlike some airports with bird issues it does not yet have a falconry based bird abatement program in place. Many people are aware of the highly publicized recent downing of a US Airways airliner into the Hudson River in New York with 155 people on board (due to a bird strike). Not many people are aware that many airports use falconry to help prevent this from happening more regularly. The Canadian Aviation Regulations require airport authorities to have a wildlife management plan and trained staff in place at all Canadian airports. Transport Canada also recognized falconry as a "highly effective component of a bird control program" in its publication entitled 
TP 13029 - Evaluation Of The Efficacy Of Products and Techniques For Airport Bird Control (03/1998)


The Canadian Bird Strike Organization is a world leader in this field. It consisting of members from the Dept of National Defence, Federal Dept of Transport, various airport authorities nation wide, and of course falconry specialists. For more information please visit their website at
Bird Strike Committee Canada .

Halifax International Airport has an award winning falconry program used to reduce aviation bird strikes. Please see their website at
Halifax Airport Bird Control

Falconry is also in use at Shearwater Air Force base in Nova Scotia, and Air Force bases in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, etc. Public airports such as Toronto (Pearson), Dorval (Quebec), North Bay (Ontario), etc also use falconry to keep our airways safe. In fact, Mason (1988) believed that gulls learned to not fly over the airport because of the falconry based bird deterrent.

3) Limiting building, bridge, and stone work damage caused by build-ups of bird droppings from unnatural populations of urban birds (acid damage on historical buildings, statues, carvings, bridges, etc)

4) Limiting the spread of human zoonosis diseases harboured by unnaturally high urban populations of starling and pigeons which are known to carry and transmit more than 50 human pathological diseases.

5) Protect water supplies by limiting transfer of diseases to water supplies by seagulls using dump sites. Examples include the current problem of the St. John's water supply being used daily by massive flocks of rafting seagulls numbering in the thousands. These same gulls retire to the city water supply after a day of feeding on the Robinhood Bay Land Fill Site as reported recently on NTV.

6) Managing crow populations in urban areas where non-falconry raptors refuse to try and secure large prey like crows on the ground. As a result crow populations have exploded to abnormal levels in some towns.

7) Falconry is listed by UNESCO as a Living Human Heritage and as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Tourism Potential

Falconry is worth millions of environmentally friendly and sustainable dollars in many rural regions. It promotes wildlife habitat protection and positive human wildlife interactions. In some regions it is seen as a means of providing tourism and eco-adventure holidays. It is also used as a tool for wildlife education in roadside establishments. In some regions public interactions with falconry must be conducted in a non-profit manner. Historically, once a monetary value is placed on wildlife, it becomes very difficult to successfully manage the human use of wildlife. As Newfoundland and Labradorians we are especially aware of what can happen once a price is put on wild birds or fish. The NLFA strongly urges our government to use extreme caution should the people of Newfoundland and Labrador ever wish to proceed down this potentially slippery slope. Sustainable and ethical financial uses of falconry abound, but like selling any wild animal or the use of wild animals for profit - extreme unbiased monitoring and management is needed. Paradoxically, humans tend to often fall into the "Tragedy of the Commons" - especially if they have no vested interest or knowledge of things - like raptors (e.g. see red text directly below). Education and interaction is the key to good stewardship of our planet.



Falconers are often instrumental in developing breeding programs for raptors for release into the wild as well as rehabilitating injured raptors, banding raptors, and initiating raptor studies of various kinds - an example is the recent, and successful, anatum peregrine breeding and release program started in Manitoba by a falconer. Our government currently does not have a repopulation or recovery strategy for anatum peregrines on the Island of Newfoundland - despite that this subspecies of peregrine is thought to be extinct here. It is highly likely that the NLFA will make serious efforts to have this changed in the near future.

The first gyrfalcons ever bred in captivity were bred by a Canadian falconer. Famous Canadian falconer Frank Beebe was the first North American falconer to breed peregrine falcons in captivity. These birds, and the techniques falconers developed, were instrumental in resulting in the birds that are being used today in repopulation efforts. Falconers globally can be proud of being instrumental in creating the "poster child" for endangered species and directing the modern world down a path of even caring about such things.


 Community Outreach and Raptor Education Programs

Falconry is used in demonstrations at facilities and programs aiming to help stressed, recovering, and environmentally challenged individuals and the elderly throughout North America

 Youth Mentoring Programs

Falconry by nature involves people that act as mentors. It is used by some 
to provide a path to a more positive and productive life and encourage good values in troubled and challenged youths.

School Educations Programs

Falconry is used in demonstrations at schools and facilities for the elderly throughout North America. These sorts of demonstrations and hands on education leave lasting impressions and would not be possible without falconers and falconry.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation has programs developed that are being taught in classrooms throughout Canada to help educate future generations about the natural environment, predator prey relationships, and raptors. The Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation (the provincial chapter of the CWF) is in full support of falconry and we look forward to working with them in the near future.


Helping the Experts

Falconers are often key people called upon by government, public educators, wildlife rehabilitators, and film crews when expert help is needed. Here our friend Michael Garcia helps a TV show you may have heard of.


 This page and all contents are copyright, Newfoundland and Labrador Falconers Association, all rights reserved

Make a Free Website with Yola.