A hand holds out some bread for a seagull near a lake.

How to avoid issues with birds and al fresco dining

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There are times in the summer when nothing quite matches an outside meal enjoyed with friends or family, especially when the sun is shining and the skies are blue. In recent years, however, we seem to have become increasingly aware of problems caused by birds in a number of retail settings. Restaurants that offer external eating areas often find it difficult to keep the birds away, and of course as time goes by many of these intruders become increasingly determined to cause havoc. 

If a seagull is trying its best to get its claws on your chips on Brighton seafront, for example, you’ll know just how upsetting the experience can be. There will have been many occasions when the customer will simply give up and vow never to return again, and this of course will inevitably affect the profit margins of takeaway shops, cafés, restaurants, pubs, hotels and other establishments. Something clearly needs to be done, but what? 

The problem seems to have simply got worse in various locations in recent years. Recent research carried out by the University of Sussex has even suggested that local herring gulls take their cue from what we are eating at the time. In essence, the birds were looking at human researchers eating crisps before choosing to investigate crisp bags of the same colour. Using humans to inspire their food choices suggests learned behaviour, and this can inevitably lead to even more problems for owners of waterfront eateries. 

Here at Scarecrow, we’ve become exceptionally adept at keeping flocks of birds away from various facilities, including airport runways, marinas, farms, offshore gas platforms and more, and over the years we’ve acquired a deep knowledge and understanding of the activities and habits of a wide cross-section of bird species. Thanks to our experience, we fully understand the importance of knowing that our work is based on a constantly moving set of targets. 

Bird dispersal for more than just airports 

For example, we have helped many airports to reduce the risks caused by groups of herring gulls, but the methods we use may have to differ when dealing with pigeons. Species, location and numbers may change dramatically, but right at the heart of our work is the desire to separate bird populations from specific environments. 

So when it comes to open-air restaurants, the problems will be caused by a smaller number of creatures than those at Gatwick Airport. Our job is still to target the cause of the problem, and to encourage them to go somewhere else. We can do this by introducing bird distress calls via strategically placed sonic appliances. Depending on the circumstances, the sounds will tell birds that there’s imminent danger, or that there’s the presence of a more aggressive rival. 

Given the financial implications of a restaurant losing customers because of bird problems, it’s easy to see why Scarecrow’s bird dispersal equipment is in such high demand. If you run an eatery that offers al fresco dining, you should be doing all you can to make sure your customers feel safe and secure enough to want to come back time and time again. One unpleasant experience with an aggressive seagull can mean the difference between a regular diner and a former one these days. 

To find out more about our services, please get in touch with the Scarecrow team today. We hope to hear from you very soon.