Falcons Fly Around the Yakima Valley to Keep Pests Off Fruit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Falcons Fly Around the Yakima Valley to Keep Pests Off Fruit

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YAKIMA VALLEY, WA. -- Pest control is a problem for many orchards and farms. And some local growers are coming up with creative ways to keep their crops safe.

This falcon that is only about 10 pounds, can fly up to 280 miles-per-hour. And this falcon is flying to keep the valley's wine grapes, cherries and blueberries free from birds who eat the fruit off the vine. 

The bird we saw was a native of Northern Africa but the company trains them and is based out of Los Angeles. The handler has been coming up to the Yakima Valley for 5 summers and he says the natural predator-prey relationship keeps the pests from ever coming back to eat the crops and is more sustainable than pesticides.

"I wish I could take the credit," Vahe Alaverdian of Falcon Force said. "It's these birds that are so magnificent. Their presence is enough to tell those birds that they're not welcome in this neighborhood."

Vahe, the handler, tells us that people have become scared when they see his falcons flying around. One person even shot and killed a bird. But Vahe says these falcons will never attack a person. We are just too big to be pray for the bird. 

Vahe is also a professional photographer. If you want to learn more about these falcons or just see some beautiful pictures of them, go to falconforce.com

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