Schoolgirl Falconer Solves Town’s Crow Problem

Sometimes kids can solve problems that adults have no idea how to tackle. 17-year-old Misato Isibashi is a fine example of this. The third year student at Takeo High School, Takeo City, has come to be known as Japan’s only ‘schoolgirl falconer’.  Takeo city is located in the Saga Prefecture, a place plagued by flocks of crows that attack farms and trash around office buildings, and cover everything in bird droppings. Powerless against this flying menace, the government of Saga has hired Misato to solve the problem.

Misato and her 7-year-old pet falcon, Momotaro, form a dream team that has proven pretty effective in getting rid of the pesky crows. When Momotaro is released, the crows simply burst out of trees and fly away to hide elsewhere. And they don’t come back for a long time afterward. A test flight was held on the evening of April 4th at the prefectural headquarters and it was confirmed the crows are quite frightened of the mighty male falcon.

The crow menace or “bird strike” occurs in the area every 40 years or so. This time around it had gotten completely out of hand before the government decided to employ the services of Misato and Momotaro. Over 10,000 crows had taken shelter in the area surrounding the prefectural offices, congregating at trash bins, feasting on farmer’s fruit trees and covering the streets with their droppings. Almost 66,000,000 yen (approximately $800,000) was spent in Saga alone on counter measures. But nothing worked until Misato the falconer arrived. She has now been offered employment, but the duration and frequency of work hours are yet to be decided. According to Misato, “The falcon is a divine punishment against crows. When their eyes meet the glare of the falcon, they will definitely not return.” This is not the first time that Momotaro the falcon has come to the rescue. She was hired by her high school to get rid of several pigeons that were causing a ruckus at the school auditorium. Looks like Momotaro is a hero of sorts in Saga.


via Japan Probe