Hawks vs Squirrels in Walnut Creek

I took these photos at the Botanical Gardens in San Francisco

I wanted to share with you a story I heard on the news this evening. It's about a squirrel population in Walnut Creek, California where the residents are upset over the sudden influx of squirrels. They state that the squirrels are eating everything and anything in their gardens, they are ruining the infrastructure and are basically being a nuisance. So, to rid the community of the squirrels they have decided to lure hawks to the area with raptor perches so that the hawks can perch above the area in order to hunt their prey - the squirrels.

Now I understand the problem but I absolutely do not agree with this solution. I think it's inhumane and just plain wrong. Your thoughts?

You can see the full story with video by clicking the link below.

See The Video & Read The Entire Story Here


Margie and Edna said…
Margie: Absolutely disgusting. Just like killing wolves in Alaska. There are so many alternatives yet many people immediately turn to murder.
Margie, I wholeheartedly agree. The woman being interviewed who initiated all of this stated that they thought this was the most humane way of handling the problem. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
Anonymous said…
These squrrels are non-native.
Anon, so are you saying that means they should be killed? Are you SERIOUS?
Anonymous said…
The death of a squrrel could be the life of a hawk. That is how nature works , like it or not.
Anon, okay, but you are missing the point here. These are people who are using the hawks to kill. I realize that in affluent Walnut Creek people are more concerned with property value etc... than anything else but they need to get a clue. Just because they are squirrels, who are considered rodents, doesn't mean they should be killed.
Anonymous said…
I cant even believe that this is under debate. There is an imbalance of squirrels read population exploision (non native)Using hawks is natural,non poisionous and smart. Californians want it all apparently . . .. good grief
Anon, on that note, thanks for the debate.
Ann said…
I don't know, it seems a little extreme to me. Then what happens when the squirrels are gone and they decide that the hawks have become a nuisance?
Ann, that is a good point. And, hawks are a nuisance, there are many out here at our beaches. It seems very extreme to me as well.
RNSANE said…
Well, there are some issues here in terms of destruction of road beds and possible danger to human life. I don't know the reality of it all. Couldn't they mix some sort of contraceptive in with squirrel food if it truly is to the point where the squirrel population is truly out of hand? I'd rather see that kind of thing than poisoning animals which other animals might end up killing and eating.

I don't think any Danville socialitle would be too happy if a hawk made off with her kitty or chihauhua or %500 wig.
You have a good point Carmen and that would be a better solution.

As for a Danville socialite LOL I would pay to see that happen. In fact I would help the hawk :D
Sharkbytes said…
Well, rodent and predator populations go in cycles. When there get to be too many rodents, usually predators will move in naturally. But if the imbalance has been caused by some unusual means then bringing in predators is a sensible solution. Would you prefer poison? Trap and release of rodents is impractical, and only makes people feel good. An animal transported way outside it's home range may not survive anyway- and it's death may not be swift as it would likely be by hawk. People want all the cute and cuddly parts of nature, but it's a package. Animals need to eat, and they are not all vegetarians.
Anonymous said…
Seems to me that when you start playing around with nature... things end up worse than they were before. Next they'll be complaining about the over population of hawks... then what?
Sharkbytes, thanks for commenting. You said it in your last sentence, "animals do need to eat" so why are squirrels not allowed? Because someone in her million dollar estate doesn't want her garden ruined? There has to be a more humane and peaceful solution.

Dawn, Exactly, you hit it right on the money. Well said.
Trent said…
After looking at it from the perspective of the squirrel, the hawk, the surrounding environment... it seems like the only thing that can be done to solve this problem, is for all the people in Walnut Creek to leave...
Trent, now that is the best solution I've heard. Thank you for visiting and commenting.
Icy BC said…
We have too many squirrels and street cats here, but nothing is done about it..

I agree with Dawn's comment above!
DK Miller said…
I agree with Sharkbytes that the influx of squirrels would probably lure in the predators. We have lots of squirrels, hawks and coyotes around our neighborhood.
Jennifer said…
I could think of worse solutions, like opening hunting season on squirrels or actually importing raptors. It sounds like they are trying to make it easier for raptors to sit and hunt -- though I think the raptors can figure that one out for themselves.

I am mainly vegetarian and love squirrels, but don't think that putting a place out where a bird that *could* catch a squirrel *might* actually sit to be a very big deal. It's not something I would do, but it seems fairly benign.
Autumn Belle said…
In the food chain, predator eats prey and life's cycle continues. That is the law of nature. In my place, whenever there are too many crows, the authorities will organise a crow shooting competition to reduce the crow population. If we say this is inhumane, what about the culling of animals and birds to contain the spread of harmful diseases and save lives? The debate continues...
Jennifer said…
And apparently, in communities where my husband has lived in Southern California, they just poison the squirrels, which sounds pretty horrible to me (and dangerous for other animals).
VanillaSeven said…
That's a chubby squirrel you've took!
Other way to control the population is to cook them into delicacy. I saw some cooking show experiment with this with a good result. They said it taste like chicken :)
Ratty said…
This is a rough problem. I can understand trying to solve a problem, but I don't like purposely killing. I've seen tree squirrels fight back against a hawk before. They ambushed it and chased it out of the forest. Hopefully a human and squirrel truce can be found.
DoanLegacy said…
If I live in the area, I would probably prefer to have squirrels rather than hawk..
SquirrelQueen said…
The biggest problem is the overpopulation probably occurred because humans over fed the squirrels. When food supplies are plentiful the population will grow. Now those same humans are complaining. Our local parks have very strict rules about feeding the animals.

Over population of a species is a common occurrence but Mother Nature will deal with it on her own. While the hawk solution seems cruel it is still better than shooting or poisoning them. That doesn't mean I like the solution.

Diane, we actually have alot of hawks and raccoons where I live.

Jennifer, thanks for your opinion on this, I always like to hear various thoughts on a subject.

Ratty, thanks so much. I'm with you, I don't like purposely killing either.

Doan, I'm with you, absolutely.

Squirrel Queen, That is a good point about the humans feeding them. Yes shooting or poisoning is also very inhumane. Thanks for commenting.

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