Nuisance birds take flight with green light

Some farms are using technology to chase away unwanted wild birds.  Craig Duhr with Bird Control Group tells Brownfield the technology uses a green laser beam that slowly moves across a pre-programmed area to harmlessly scare the birds away. “The birds see that as a predator or something coming at them that can cause harm, so they just take flight or don’t want to be in the area.”

Duhr says the laser devices are already being used by fish farms, feed lot operators, a barge terminal on the lower Mississippi River, and on turkey and chicken farms. “In the poultry industry, we’re actually mounting them on the turkey barns, so we’re getting up about 30 feet, and we can cover quite a bit of area with that.”

He says four major poultry producers have the units on their contracted grower’s farms. “These are in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska mainly, and I’ve got a couple in Iowa.”

And, he says so far, those sites have not had a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza since the installations.

Duhr says the device also helps chase pigeons, sparrows, and starlings out of dairy barns. “We run through the bays and move them in and out and up and down along the walls and ceiling where the birds are at, and that moves them out of that area.” He says the green light does not affect mammals at all.

Duhr says although testing data is not yet available from USDA or biologists, the device is getting good reviews from farmers. “We’ve got a blueberry farmer that has said had a 90% bird reduction the first year he put it up, and his blueberry harvest was fantastic.”

Duhr says each laser costs about twelve thousand dollars and the return on investment will depend on the type of farm using it.

AUDIO: Craig Duhr with Bird Control Group explains how lasers harmlessly chase away unwanted birds.

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