Falcon fear factor

 

OREGON
Three peregrine falcons named Judah, Carbon and Zinc are the go-to birds for a Portland garbage station when it wants to discourage pesky seagulls that scatter food scraps and foul nearby roofs and cars with their droppings. The raptors don't have to attack the gulls to haze them away, reports The Oregonian; all they need to do "is fly around and look like a scary falcon." The gulls quickly get the message that they're in danger and move on, though a transfer-station manager in Tillamook has found that the falcons need to be brought by frequently to keep the seagulls from returning. And though the falcons seldom attack the gulls, which are formidable birds twice their size, sometimes the temptation proves irresistible, says reporter Eric Mortenson, who witnessed one astonishing encounter: "Streaking from a building fan tower, with screaming gulls peeling away in terror left and right, Judah selected a target and delivered a mid-air whack job." Falconer Kort Clayton, who was clearly startled, called that attack atypical behavior, for which "Judah earned a time out" in his wire cage. Meanwhile, the gull Judah nailed was a goner.

WASHINGTON
The issue before a Washington state legislative committee was beaver relocation, and only one person bothered to show up. But he was probably the right person since his name was Neil Beaver, reports the Olympian. Beaver advocated moving the animals away from places where they cause damage to new streams where they could build useful dams.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write betsym@hcn.org.