He’s the Raol thing when it comes to scaring away the birds!
Bosses at Cardwell Garden Centre, near Gourock reckon this is the best way of stopping the birds eating the tens of thousands of flower seeds sown in planters that are growing for the busy summer season.
Now one of the world’s top bird impersonators, Raol di Folpays,from Lisbon has been hired to sit on the Cardwell roof for 20 minutes of every hour making the territorial warning sounds of the Red Tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and the Eurasian Eagle Owl.
The starlings, pigeons and seagulls are terrified of these birds of prey and are frightened off when they hear the bird noises. Members of the public are also being asked to volunteer for bird impersonating work, as Senhor di Folpays can’t be there round the clock and people are needed for the back shift and night shift bird-scaring duties.
The garden centre’s horticultural staff had tried in vain to keep the pigeons, starlings and gulls at bay by placing scarecrows and plastic owls at strategic points on the roof. And what shoppers believed were regular fire alarm tests, was actually a siren being sounded in a bid to scare off the birds. But nothing they had tried so far has been successful.
Senhor di Folpays said: “There are some who laughingly call me the Birdman of Cardwell, but I take my job very seriously. I’ve travelled the world giving recitals of my bird impersonations and in recent years I’ve been called on to scare off unruly flocks of birds in many countries.
“In 1963, when Alfred Hitchcock was making his thriller movie, The Birds I was asked to go to Hollywood to film an alternative ending where I would scare the avian attackers away with my sounds of birds of prey. Sadly, they chose another ending. “I know the management at this garden centre were getting into a bit of a flap about the problems created by these birds, but I’m no fly-by-night and provide the most effective and humane way of getting rid of them.”
Cardwell Garden Centre retail manager, Paul Carmichael said: “The pigeons especially are really doo-ing our heads in and the starlings and seagulls aren’t much better.
“Although there are some sceptics who think we’re being rather gull-ible hiring a bird impersonator, I’m sure Raol’s unique skills will do the trick and get rid of the birds. “We’re also appealing for volunteers to take over the bird-scaring duties when Raol isn’t available. “Anyone who fancies a go at bird impersonating to scare the pesky pigeons and starlings away should register at our customer services desk in the centre before noon today.
Portugese bird impersonator, Raol di Folpays at work at Cardwell Garden Centre, which has been plagued by birds eating plant seeds.