Poop patrol ahead of NFL Draft: Hawk, falcon used to keep downtown Detroit clean

As part of Downtown Detroit's makeover ahead of the NFL Draft, city officials want to make sure bird poop is not an issue for the hundreds of thousands visiting the Motor City in late April.

Yes, bird poop – along with everything else that comes with pesky birds.

To keep downtown clean, Bedrock Detroit hired ScAir Force Falconry & Bird Abatement to scare away any starlings and pigeons with birds of prey and lasers.

Ruth, a Harris's hawk, and Yeti, a Saker falcon, are being used "as a visual cue to keep away" any invasive birds from Downtown Detroit, said Paul Thomas.

ScAir Force Falconry & Bird Abatement owners Paul and Terese Thomas are using a hawk and a falcon to scare away any invasive birds ahead of the NFL Draft in Detroit. 

"(Starlings) sit there for 10 or 12 hours all night, just pooping down the side of the building," he added.

Paul and Terese Thomas are the owners of ScAir Force. They are partners in life and partners on the job. 

The couple has Ruth and Yeti trolling the area around Campus Martius five evenings a week.

"It'll take probably about a month to train (birds not to come back)," Paul said. "That's essentially what we're doing. We're training them that you're not going to be able to sleep here, we're going to come through. We're going to shine lasers on you."

Birds of prey are being used to keep downtown Detroit clean from bird poop ahead of the NFL Draft in Detroit.

Related: NFL Draft in Detroit: What to know as city prepares for event

Ruth and Yeti are outfitted with ankle cuffs, tethers, and a spot for a GPS – but they are trained to come right back to Paul and Terese.

"The reason they stay with us, the symbiotic relationship we built, is just they know we're a meal ticket," Paul said.


2024 NFL Draft in Detroit: Road closure schedule starts March 29

The Draft will run from April 25 to 27 surrounding Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza with Phase One of the street closures beginning Friday.

When the NFL Draft comes around and about 300,000 football fans flood Downtown Detroit, the four Bedrock Detroit buildings being patrolled by ScAir Force will be ready for the masses.

"We are honored to serve the good citizens of Detroit in the NFL Draft and protect them from bird poop," Paul said.

The NFL Draft will be from April 25-27. 


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