Dead pigeons? It wasn’t me… I only scare them away!

Jess the harris hawk flies above the skies of NW1

Friday, 24th June — By Dan Carrier

camden24 Image 2022-06-24 at 1.51.28 PM (4)

Jess the Harris hawk

A FALCONER hired for pest control jobs across London says his trusty hawk simply scares away problem pigeons – and isn’t looking to kill them.

The New Journal found Matthew Creeber at work with his hawk, Jess, in Camden Town on Thursday and he explained how he had looked after the bird of prey since she was hatched.

“She is literally my baby and has been with me all her life,” he said. “She is very intelligent. She picks things up very quickly.”

In February, we reported on a woman in Chalk Farm who said that she had found decapitated pigeons in the area while she was out dog-walking – and that she suspected that they had been victims of bird-on-bird attacks.

Matthew Creeber with Jess

But Mr Creeber said this was very unlikely to be a Harris Hawk and that Jess was not in the sky looking to kill.

“She is a deterrent, to frighten them away,” he said. “If she was hungry then they would be fair game and I would not be able to stop her. Instead, she acts as a deterrent and pushes the birds away from areas where they can cause nuisance.”

He added: “People do like feeding the pigeons and sometimes that can be a health hazard. Jess deals with that in a humane way.”

One hotspot for pigeon feeding has been Buck Street – just off Camden High Street – and Camden Road, near Sainsbury’s.

Jess lives in a specially built home at the bottom of Matthew’s garden and is fed three chicks a day.

He had been working in pest control but when the firm closed he was made redundant. He spotted an advert as a falconer and the idea appealed to him.

He said: “I thought it looked nicer than laying down traps for rats and mice.”

Pigeon perches in Camden Town are not Jess’s only haunt. She patrols main line train stations, including Liverpool Street, parts of Canary Wharf, and enjoys the rarified surroundings of the Dorchester Hotel.

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