FOR four years, the brewery in Veľký Šariš has had an airborne security detail consiting of pairs of red-tailed hawks, which guard the barley from other birds and rodents, the Pravda daily wrote.
Natália Murínová, who supervises environmental protection in the Šariš brewery, developed the idea. She wondered how the hawks could be made to nest in the brewery.
Peter Imrich, the brewery's boiler room worker and ornithology and bird preservation hobbyist, constructed four boxes and placed them in the brewery.
"Wild hawks usually occupy the nests of other birds, like ravens or crows," Imrich explained. "The boxes replaced them."
In four years, 34 young hawks were born in the brewery's nests.
"In the first year, six young birds were born in one of the occupied nest boxes; one year later it was eleven of them in two nest boxes. The most successful year was the last, when they nested in three boxes, and twelve small hawks were born," Imrich said.
Imrich considers the 'flying guard' effective.
"The purpose is not to make them attack and kill doves or sparrows, but rather to be effective prevention," he said. "When doves see a silhouette of a predatory bird, they fly away."
The most exciting part was when the hawks led their young out of the nest and taught them to fly.