Marines Hire Unlikely New Talent

Marines Hire Unlikely New Talent

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has recruited a large number of people over the years. Most see the opportunity for honor and pride, while others are simply following a family tradition. This year, however, the USMC’s new recruit isn’t for typical combat.

The USMC has a different battle on their hands than what they’re used to. For about four years, they’ve been combatting a seagull problem. Captain Martin Harris stated the Marine Corps has always kept within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife guidelines, and have committed to non-lethal tactics against the gulls. This year, they hope to use “scare” tactics, and are looking to push the seagulls back to Catalina Island.

What they came up with was the recruitment of a falconer, Adam Chavez. Owner of Adam’s Falconry Service, Chavez says that his Harris hawks have been trained to haze the seagulls. Adam stated they use the predator-prey relationship to accomplish this, adding the seagulls “freak out” when they spot the hawks. Chavez and his team will be spending a 30-day period at the San Diego Depot, and a little more than 3 weeks as needed throughout the year.

Adam’s Falconry Service has signed a five-year contract of $127,440, and will spend several weeks annually pushing the seagulls back to an island off the coast. This isn’t the first time Chavez and his team have worked on a military base. The need to remove nesting birds is commonplace in California. The falconry has worked on Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County, as well as a Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.