The Schoolgirl Falconer

When the Saga Prefecture in Japan was plagued with an infestation of crows, it knew exactly who to call: Misato Ishibashi, the "schoolgirl falconer."

No, it's not a tale of Japanese anime, but it could easily be one, I'm sure:

The prefectural government of Saga, plagued by hordes of crows that attack trash and farms around their offices, has hired a high school student who is known as Japan’s only “schoolgirl falconer”, one Misato Ishibashi (17), a 3rd year at Takeo High School in Takeo City. Saga has entrusted Misato’s falcons with ridding the offices of their crows. Misato, who freely manipulates falcons, often participates in competitions to expel avian pests and the like. After the prefecture received word of her getting top honors in a national competition, governor Yasushi Furukawa sent her the request.

On the evening of April 4th, Misato brought her 7-year-old male falcon “Momotaro” to the prefectural headquarters for a test flight. When Momotaro was released, dozens of crows burst out of the trees and flew away or tried to hide in the shadows. After several such flights, their cries could no longer be heard. “They won’t be back for a while,” said Misato. [...]

Says Misato with an air of confidence, “The falcon is a divine punishment against crows. When their eyes meet the glare of the falcon, they will definitely not return.”

Japan Probe has the story (with video clip): Link


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