Marquette Wire

Marquette working with firm to humanely manage seagulls

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The Marquette campus is experiencing a seagull problem and the university is working to fix it.

“Beginning last year, the university noted a significant increase in the number of seagulls on campus,” said Lora Strigens, chief university planner and architect, in a university statement. “Left unchecked, an overpopulation of seagulls could lead to human health and safety concerns. We also have a secondary concern about damage to our facilities.”

The university said it is working with an experienced environmental firm to humanely manage the birds. There was no comment when asked the name of the firm or for further details.

“Beyond having to study inside because of fear or noise, I don’t think that there are many real negatives to them,” said Alex Wheaton, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Granted, I hate them, and they annoy me to no end, but I get over it.”

The birds can often be seen hovering around Wisconsin Avenue and took a particular liking to the Raynor Memorial Library and Central Mall. Although they can be annoying, they have given campus something to joke about. Students compared the gulls to Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds,” or the seagulls in “Finding Nemo.”

There’s the humorous Twitter account, @MUseagulls, which has a bio that reads: “Patrolling the skies above @MarquetteU and Milwaukee. Cover your heads.”

The profile interacts with users complaining about the birds and posts numerous pictures of the flocks.

“You can’t do anything to them right now once they’re nesting; you need a federal permit to get rid of those things once they start laying their eggs,” said Tom Gouger of Wildthings Animal Control. “They’re a real pain in the ass.”

While the Marquette community wonders how to regain a campus free of seagull screeches, Sean Driscoll, a freshman in the College of Engineering, thinks he found the solution.

“Did you know that if you get a larger predatory bird around seagulls, they tend to go away? It’s pretty cool stuff,” Driscoll said. “I found a falcon guy, who I contacted, and for $55 an hour, I can get a falcon to roam McCormick. I found out that if every student in McCormick donated seven cents, we could get a falcon for one hour every week for the rest of the year.”

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