Eagles patrol diving pool at Barcelona swim worlds

Wildlife News

Associated Press
July 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Early arrivals for the world championship diving are getting an odd treat this week: The chance to see eagles skimming over the azure water where divers will launch themselves from up to 10 meters.

The birds' mission: Patrol the airspace to keep away pesky seagulls and pigeons for the safety of the divers.

"I begin early so that everything is clean and there are no seagulls," said falconer Oscar Martos, the man in charge of working the big, brown-feathered birds.

Like most cities, Barcelona has a pigeon problem. Because the Montjuic Municipal pool is on a hill with a side that falls into the Mediterranean, seagulls have taken a particular liking to its convenient perches and inviting waters.

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