How to save your food from pesky birds
Many creative solutions have been developed to help protect our food supply from avian pests. We've compiled a list of bird scarers, and here are some of the best!
If you think insects are the only pests in agriculture, think again. Birds are actually a major pest to crops all over the world! The first problem is, like us, birds find fruit and vegetables delicious. The second major issue is bird droppings. If birds are leaving their droppings over the food we’re eating, then farmers can’t sell them and we can’t eat them! So as cute as they are, birds can waste money, time, and most importantly, food.
Many creative solutions have been developed to help protect our food supply from these avian pests. Click through the slides below to find out some of the best!
The classic bird scarer, the scarecrow has been around for ages. They are used to trick birds into thinking a farmer is actually there in the field. However, birds can get used to these fake human figures, often using them as a nice perch to relax on.
Photo by Bird Control Group
Nope, this isn’t some excuse farmers use to play laser tag, these lasers are actually used to disrupt and scare off birds. A clear contrast in light confuses birds and so lasers are best used at both dawn and dusk, rather than during the bright daylight hours. Powerful lasers can be dangerous, however, so there are strict rules on who can use them and when. I mean, they are lasers after all.
Photo by Acabashi
Birds don’t want to get eaten by larger birds, so farmers have cleverly used this to their advantage by creating a hawk kite. Their silhouette can be enough to keep most smaller birds away from crop fields (though its flight does depend on wind conditions). Drones in the shape of hawks are now being used in a similar way, so the future looks bright for this particular bird scaring technique.
Big surprise? Dogs have been used for centuries to scare off birds and are still as effective today. Although they might not be able to catch the bird, dogs can help chase them away, and that’s enough when you’re looking to keep your crops bird-free. The Border Collie is the breed of dog most often used to threaten birds, due to their obedience and just pure love of chasing birds.
An ancient deterrent, much like the scarecrow of the West, the sōzu of the East has been around a long time. However, the difference being is that it uses sound rather than visuals to ward off birds. It uses a simple yet elegant design to knock wood against stone using the weight of water. The distribution of the flowing water also acts as a timer for the device, so the sound occurs every now and then.
A bit different to your usual methods, these devices make it so that birds can’t communicate with one another properly, which drives them to move elsewhere. How? Rather than scaring the birds away, these sonic nets block communication between birds using ‘coloured noise’. This sound is a jumbled mix of bird noises at different frequencies, and it has been compared to sounding like the equivalent of a noisy restaurant to birds.
So, there you have it, a list of bird scarers that are so effective at their job that birds aren’t willing to stick around for a good meal. And this is just a handful of examples from a long list of ingenious methods people have come up with to protect our food.
What do you think? Know of any other bird scarers not mentioned above? Let us know below!