VIDEO: Marina Landfill's Seagull Scaring Team
September 30, 2011
When talking about the ancient art of falconry, picturing a well-trained bird of prey and its handler trolling a landfill six days a week might not be the first thought to enter ones mind. That's why when the tales of a man and his falcons flew through the Weekly, there was no hesitation to go out and see for ourselves.
Note: click the 360p at the bottom of the video viewer and choose 1080 to watch widescreen, it's more flattering for Carmen's beautiful plumage.
The intelligence and usefulness of falcons and hawks wasn't lost on the Monterey Regional Waste Management District. For the last two years they have employed Leo Velazquez of Turlock-based subcontractor Wingmaster Falconry and his stable of trusty raptors to keep the seagulls from feasting on the trash. The MRWMD is well-known for their innovative recycling and sustainability practices and look to showcase that at their 60th Anniversary Open-House going down from 10am to 2pm Saturday.
On a recent trip down to the dump I met up with Public Education and Recycling Manager Jeff Lindenthal for a tour and a chat with Velazquez and a Harris' Hawk named Carmen. As you'll see in the video, Carmen did most of the chatting.