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The Giants are trying to shoo the seagulls away

Jul 29, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Duck Hawk Soaring

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, but I don’t know why she swallowed the fly. I guess she’ll die:

For years, the San Francisco Giants’ regular seagulls cooperated so nicely: They flocked to AT&T Park after the final out to scavenge for treats like leftover popcorn, pizza or garlic fries.

Those gulls have become more pesky and plentiful of late, creating a problem for fans during games on occasion this season. So, now, the Giants are considering bringing in a resident falcon to help fend off the birds and keep them at bay out where they belong – above the bay.

This happens at a ballpark or two every year. And while I understand how nature works, I do always find it funny that the solution to a pest is to invite a killer bird of prey into a building with 40,000 people in it every day.

And as a result of watching way too many bad movies in my youth, I always wonder (hope?) that the falcon will develop a taste for human flesh and turn on its keepers and the fans at large.  They then bring in some old shaman-type stock character (played by a fading actor who made a couple of decent movies in the 70s but is now down on his luck) who claims to know the ways of the Falcon,* and he too is eaten. As is always the case, the day is saved by some plucky teenagers.

*Note: “Ways of the Falcon” would be an excellent title for this direct-to-video feature.

  1. shaggylocks - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    This reminds me of the incident a couple years ago where a hawk that had been making its home at Fenway Park swooped down and injured a young girl named Alexa Rodriguez. I only remember the girl’s name because the incident made it abundantly clear that someone had been training this hawk to be an attack hawk, but the bird of prey missed its intended target by one letter. Learn this lesson well, hawk trainers: birds are terrible spellers.

    • hystoracle - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      Yeah, It works great until the Falcon develops a taste for Hot dogs.

  2. royhobbs39 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    If they got Michael Caine, this would immediately be Oscar worthy. But without Christopher Nolan at the helm, they will have to settle for Steven Seagal, thus making it straight to video.

    • umrguy42 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      Seagal vs the Seagulls… I love it!

  3. Old Gator - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    The Royal Air Force had teams of falconers working with their birds to keep the runways at Lakenheath and Mildenhall free of pesky gulls, crows, you name it. Worked pretty well, too, from what I understand. I’d love to see some of the charming idiosyncratics on the Jints spinning their lures around in the outfield while the falcons stoop at them, or sitting in the dugout, cutting leather patterns for hoods and jesses, fingers covered with band-aids from sticking themselves while trying to stitch their gloves or pinched black and blue from folding tin for their bells (there is nothing more exciting than to hear the shriek of air through the bell slits of a diving falcon, folks – like an incoming mortar round – or the krak! of a gull’s backbone when the diving falcon’s breastbone smashes through it at 95 MPH).

    Then again, I guess if the falcons don’t work out, or learning the trade becomes too complicated, you could always call the NRA to send some droolers who love to blast away at anything alive they can kill without getting in trouble for it.

    Oh, wait – this is San Francisco. Heh. Brain fart. I thought this was Orange County there for a moment.

  4. RK - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    “I understand how nature works — Craig “Cosmos” Calcaterra

    They could try what the Indians do and set off fireworks between innings. Keeps the birds away and the ‘splosions are fun for the people, too.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    My company has huge buildings with around 70′ high ceilings that are very old, and pigeons took over the place a couple of years ago because they found a way in. So one day a Coopers hawk attacked a Pigeon near an open door and got inside the building. We then proceeded to close up the building and put out a water dish for our new pet. That hawk took out a pigeon every other day until there were no more. It took about 2 months and when it was done eating all of the pigeons, we let it free. It’s against the law for people to kill them in our state, but another bird is just fine.

    • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      It is probably more against the law to cage a hawk, so I think you mean your “friends” company.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        It wasn’t any more “caged” than the employees working there. At my “friends” company. 😉

    • bigdicktater - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      What did they do with all the feathers at your “friends” company?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    You could have a rule book similar to the Trop. If a hawk intercepts your fly ball above the infield it is in play. If he intercepts it above the OF it is an automatic double. If your flyball kills a gull it is an automatic 2 runs for your team. etc etc

  7. 18thstreet - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Plucky teenagers can solve all our problems.

    • sportsdrenched - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      But only if they listen to lame music on their walkman stapped to their leg while flying an F-16.

      • lanflfan - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        Wow, an “Iron Eagle” reference!?

  8. sdelmonte - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    I’d be more worried about the seagulls developing a taste for human flesh. Those birds will eat anything.

    Alternately, we can hire Dreamworks or one of the studios not named Pixar to make a wacky kids film about the gulls at the park and the weird friendship between one of the gulls and the falcon sent to shoo them away.

    • Old Gator - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      It’d be neat if they started dropping clams on the audience too, no?

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        That is a problem. Damn them for developing the cognitive ability to use hard surfaces as a tool. There is nothing worse than trying to sleep off a hangover with seagulls bombing your roof.

  9. APBA Guy - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    It used to be there was a seagull problem at the Mausoleum. But declining attendance meant fewer discards, so now there are very few birds. Los Gigantes don’t have that option.

  10. cur68 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Or they could start an intensive campaign about chucking food refuse in covered bins so there isn’t as much trash lying around. But, hey, is there a “straight for dvd” market for “Throw out Your Trash in A Bin: It Keeps The Seagulls Down”? I bet if Michael Moore made it’d be ok.

  11. Old Gator - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    I go lewk for BEEEEEEEEG VATTER!

  12. lanflfan - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Ok, so you have a seagull issue. You get hawks to kill the seagulls. NRA to kill the hawks. Who kills the NRA? This could get ugly. Funny, but ugly.

  13. akismet-30f336bf1321cbbb11a61af09318deb5 - Jul 30, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Me thinks somebody needs something more to write about than baseball…

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