Airport’s dive-bombing, pooping birds remain target of falconers

Airport's dive-bombing, pooping birds remain target of falconers (Image 1)
Airport's dive-bombing, pooping birds remain target of falconers (Image 1)

For the second Friday in a row, two birds of prey are flying around the Nashville airport terminal looking for some other birds that have not been very friendly to countless passengers.

Brandy the falcon and Tater the hawk capture a lot of attention, but not necessarily the sparrows who have been known to dive bomb or poop on passengers.

Catching the sparrows is not really Brandy and Tater’s job, according to the two falconers who roam the concourses, ticket counters and baggage areas with the two birds of prey on their arms.

“We are trying to scare the sparrows out of here,” says Don Hervig who, along with Jeff Fincher, owns a company called Raptor Abatement.

The sparrows often dart through open doors into the terminal looking for food.

The theory is the sparrows will see the hawk or falcon and make a beeline back through open doors and away from the terminal.

“Birds remember things, and they’ll remember Tater and Brandy being in here,” Hervig explained.

While the birds of prey have a job to do, they are drawing plenty of turned heads as they occasionally fly inside the terminal after the sparrows, or rest on the arms of their falconers.

Seven foot Luke Kornet of the Vanderbilt basketball team is used to getting looks at airports, but this time he was the one doing the looking.

“Awesome,” he said while stopping to see the falcon on his way home to Texas.

The falconers team called Raptor Abatement is about midway through a seven-day contract with the airport.

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