University makes progress in solving campus bird problem

By Slayton Hatley–

Tarleton State University, a historic campus, was once crisp and clean. But now it has been tainted by birds.

With bird feces all over the ground, many students find it very disgusting to walk to certain classes on campus.

“It is terrible and smells like a chicken coop. If I was a freshmen I would look poorly on it over other campuses that are cleaner. My carts have gotten pooped on and people hate the smell and speak poorly on it,” said junior Tarleton student Trevor Braune.

Chandler Snodgrass, a grounds crew worker at Tarleton, said, “We power wash the sidewalks with water to get the bird poop off the sidewalks, and it is very  disgusting and takes some time to do, especially [the ones] by the student center and business building.”

Tarleton contracted out a falconer to solve the excrement crisis.

“Currently we are using a falconer to move particular brown head birds that are hard to move,” said Mike Newton, the grounds manager at Tarleton State University.  “We have used up to three hawks across campus to intimidate and keep the birds from scattering. We have been having this trouble for up to 11 years ever since I have been here.”

Roger Crandall, the contractor hired by Tarleton State University, has been a falconer for 30 years and was the first one in the U.S. to receive the SPA Falconry permit. Crandall said the hawks make it “unsafe for the birds to where they don’t have a choice to live where they want.”

Crandall said it takes up to 26 nights to finish the program, and he has recently finished one on campus. Students might have seen the falconer on campus at night and have noticed the change it has made.

“We’ve solved the problem to the point to where there is nothing we can do,” Newton said. “There was a lot of trouble this year with the birds being scattered throughout campus. We have seen some good change and hope that it can only get better and eventually not have this problem in the future.”

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