Bird Control Products
Bird Control Solutions
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Orchard Protection

The latest in Bird Control products recognises bird predation when it happens and takes action. Fast and consistent response plus early intervention prevents birds from developing a feeding habit in a vineyard or orchard.

Orchard Protection

Radar systems properly placed around the orchard instantly detect the presence of incoming birds. The radar then activates by radio control, deterrents strategically placed around the orchard. These deterrents can include gas guns or any other existing electronic deterrent system.

Once they have infested an orchard, birds can often move from habit to addiction. Lorikeets can become particularly aggressive and pickers have been known to wear gloves to protect themselves from being bitten.

Most birds are partial to red fruit, but will soon move on to the green varieties if they are not controlled.

Birds will usually work together as a team. They start by sending scouts to find the food source and end up with an entire social network within the crop, including sentries and guards. Occasionally one can see, when there are hundreds of birds in a crop, a small group of guards, will leave the crop and mob a passing predator. Showing clearly that a well formed social structure is in place. A bird pest situation in an orchard that has become out of control, not only gives the birds safety in numbers, but also allows them to add to their security by forming social networks.

Scouts or passers by that approach the crop early are more timid and so are more easily deterred, than the hungry hoards that appear later. The trick therefore is to deter the early birds. Shooting patrols are usually ineffective in this regard as scouts can easily enter the crop unnoticed. Using deterrents such as gas guns, electronic noise makers, balloons etc, may all work well in the beginning or if the bird pressure is low, but ultimately become ineffective as the birds begin to recognize their mechanical nature.

The advantage of using a radar system to activate deterrents, is that over a distance of 500 meters it can "see" birds that human eyes can't. Scouts therefore are caught on the wing and deterred before they have an opportunity to land. The radar is also responsive to bird behavior, which creates a human like presence in the crop and gives birds the feeling that they are being watched.

As well as having "eyes" in the form of radar, a good bird control system also needs to provide feedback information to the grower, so that he can evaluate the strategy put in place, and modify it accordingly. An LCD readout on the radar displays the current bird activity for the day. Scrolling back through the memory will display activity on other days.

Finally to complete our human like bird control system, a brain is required. This is achieved by using a computer to receive messages from the radar system and activate deterrents in a realistic way. One type of deterrent alone is not usually sufficient to cover most instances, especially where there are multiple bird species involved. The attached photo of a cherry crop in W.A shows a computer controlled deterrent module.

The module receives a signal from the radar when birds enter the crop. It is then programmed to raise the prowler owl above the crop on a mechanical boom, play distress and predator calls, as well as flash a strobe light. The way in which deterrents are operated is varied each time the unit operates. The deterrents used are chosen to suit the bird species and for the synergy between them. If for example birds were wary of humans an inflatable man could be used in combination with a gas gun, both of which would be controlled by the radar and computer system.

Growers can now dispense with expensive and often ineffective shooting programs and let the "seeing" and "thinking" bird control robot do most of the work. In addition existing bird deterrents can be hooked up to the system to enhance their performance.


Related page: What bird is eating my crop?