We’ve all been there – enjoying a beautiful day at the beach when you stop for a snack only to be dive-bombed by gulls hungry for a French fry or other delicious treat. While it doesn’t necessarily ruin the day, it can certainly put a damper on the fun. Having to play defense over your food isn’t exactly the most relaxing way to enjoy a meal. For years, bird control services have been working hard to rid popular beach spots of gulls and other scavenger birds with varying degrees of success.

A new approach is being put into practice on the beaches of Atlantic City, and the early results are rather positive. Using an item that many beachgoers bring with them for recreation – a kite – beach officials can scare off the birds and keep them a safe distance from visitors. This kite, however, is not one that you can pick up at a boardwalk shop. A specially designed kite that looks like an eagle – a natural predator to the gulls – is flown around by trained staff to intimidate and scare off the unwanted birds. While the gulls won’t necessarily evacuate the area completely, they do take notice and fly off to higher elevations where they don’t feel at risk to attack from the faux-eagle.

Bird populations have actually become a major problem in many cities around the United States, including in New York City. Bird control services are working hard to think of safe and humane methods to control populations and keep birds in areas where they won’t bother humans and can live in their natural habitat. Innovative ideas such as using a kite to patrol a specific area that is overrun with scavenger birds show that bird control services are adapting to the needs of the market and just might be successful in the long run at helping you eat your fries in peace.