Falcons drive seagulls off Portland garbage

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Three falcons are making hundreds of seagulls nervous at Metro's Central Transfer Station for Portland garbage.

A California falconry business, Airstrike Bird Control, was hired after hundreds of gulls descended. They're feeding on food scraps, which are more abundant since Portland's home food composting service began.

The gulls are a problem because they scatter garbage and foul equipment, buildings and cars with their droppings.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/rCWWP6 ) the falcons are supposed to only make the gulls so uncomfortable they move on. But one falcon killed a gull Monday in a mid-air strike.

Recology Oregon operates the transfer station for Metro and is paying $22,000 for a preliminary gull abatement period.

Falcons also have been used to control gulls at the Tillamook County Transfer Station.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com