AFTER a lifetime in the building trade, Barry Scales is flying high in a new business – thanks to Harry the Hawk.
Harry, three, is a key weapon in Barry’s successful pest control company.
The two are so close that Barry, 60, even takes Harry for a walk – just like his two dogs.
Barry, of Ceiriog Valley, said: “I decided I wanted a career change and started doing for a living what I’ve been doing as a hobby for most of my life.
“I have always done pest control with rabbits, rodents and the like – and I have deer management qualifications. At my time of life, it seemed it was a good time for me to do something I wanted.”
Barry paid tribute to Wrexham-based chartered accountants Coxeys for helping him to reach new heights both personally and professionally.
According to Barry, the advice and guidance from accountant Peter McVeigh has been invaluable in setting up is company, NBC Pest Solutions.
He said: “I was looking for a local accountant I could trust and would give me sound business advice so I asked around and got quite a few recommendations for Coxeys.
“And I’m glad to say they were absolutely right, Coxeys have been fantastic and they have certainly proved a major help in getting my business off the ground.
“Peter is extremely supportive. I can pick up the phone anytime and I get a personal service which is excellent.”
Barry’s company, NBC Pest and Bird Solutions, is part of a national franchise network.
He works from his cottage home, set in idyllic surroundings near the village of Tregeiriog, where he keeps a variety of birds and animals he uses as part of his work.
The menagerie also includes a kestral called Budgie along with two ferrets called Maud and Fred, a spaniel called Griffin, and a lurcher called Tinker.
But the undoubted star of Barry’s collection is Harry, the sleek Harris hawk.
Harris hawks are native to the south of the USA down throughout much of South America.
In the wild they prey on rats, mice, lizards, small birds and small mammals, such as young rabbits.
Barry said: “I had never been into birds of prey before, but they are invaluable as part of the ethical side of pest control.
“There is a better way of control than going around killing everything. Harry is kept at the optimum weight so he’s hungry enough to be aggressive but not so hungry he kills.
“We deter with birds of prey. We can move seagulls, pigeons, starlings and sparrows on without actually killing.
“You don’t want the bird to kill, just to scare by their presence. There are usually four of five of them together which is why they lend themselves to working with humans. If you’re out walking Harry will follow – I take him for a walk like I take the dog.
“Harry will follow by flying from tree to telegraph post and so on.
“There’s some bonding there and you can relate to that as you would relate to a dog.
“Harry is a bit of a character, he doesn’t like having his feet touched which is a bit of a nuisance when you’re trying to tether him.
“He likes shaking your hand which isn’t a great idea if you haven’t got a glove on. If they’re coming to you for food they will glide down and land on your fist. If they’re hunting, they’re very quick.”
Coxeys’ Peter McVeigh added: “He’s made a career change quite late in his professional life and setting up a business can be quite daunting and I’m delighted that I’ve been able to help.”
For details, call Barry Scales on 01691 600314 or 07896 534844 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.