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Falcons 'clean up' SoCal office complex

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The pigeons and seagulls that haunted a Los Angeles-area office complex flew the coop when a cadre of falcons arrived, the birds' handler said.

Scores of messy birds had been fouling the pond and lawn at the Santa Monica complex for years, but there were none in sight this week after four falcons named after movie stars were stationed at the 17-acre Water Garden site.

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"The first morning I got here there were 40 gulls," falconer Fred Seaman told the Los Angeles Times. "Some days they've had as many as 100 of them here."

The newspaper said the resident birds seemed to get the message by the end of the first week of the falcons' two-month gig. During a lunch hour this week, there was nary a gull or pigeon to be seen.

The falcons -- named Marlon Brando, Mia Farrow, Johnny Depp and Audrey Hepburn -- are kept tethered so they don't actually attack the trespassers. Their mere presence, however, seems to be enough since seagulls and pigeons have excellent eyes and spot the potential threat, Seaman said.

Seaman and his company, Airstrike Bird Control, expect the interlopers will find a new hangout and vacate the Water Garden permanently.

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