Bird Control – Blueberries Versus Starlings

The RoBird® bird drone saves crops! Our clients, Greftenhoeve and Blauwe Bes Drenthe can confirm. These two farms cultivate different kinds of blueberries and had an ongoing battle with starlings for many years. The farmers  trialed RoBird® to verify its effectiveness. The goal of the project was to protect the ripening blueberries from starlings, crows, and common wood pigeons. With little effort, RoBird® removed most birds, leaving an overall increase in yields. Thus, proving the effectiveness of this solution in one of the most attractive settings for birds. 

RoBird® bird drone saves crops!

STRATEGY AND RESULTS:

Because both Greftenhoeve and Blauwe Bes Drenthe cultivate different kinds of blueberries, they ripedn at different rates. Harvesting fruit can take  eight weeks, so controlling the bird population requires long-term solutions. We decided to focus on the starlings because they cause most of the damage and their behavior is predictable.

Traditionally, farmers spot scout starlings near the agricultural fields weeks before harvest time. To make a lasting impression, we flew four weeks prior to the first harvest. There was an immediate noticeable decrease in scouts.

As the first batch of blueberries ripened, we increased our visits and flight duration. We combined RoBird® with traditional bird control methods. These included kites, sounds, and lasers. The results were astounding. At Greftenhoeve, the starling population not only decreased, but all starlings left the target area. After inspecting and analyzing the surroundings, we discovered the nearest starlings two kilometers away. Overall, the crow population decreased by 80% compared to previous years!

LESSONS LEARNED:

It absolutely pays off to start flying the RoBird® before large flocks arrive, weeks before harvesting starts. Scouts communicate the danger of a predator to the flock and they stay away to avoid an imminent attack. The common wood pigeon was more challenging to remove. Because the damage they cause is minimal compared to that of starlings, we did not change our strategy. However, the team intends to begin trials to see how they respond to the eagle RoBird®. Additionally, other combinations of technologies will be used to see if results will improve.

The RoBird® bird drone saves crops. It also offers a humane and effective solution, and in this project we demonstrated it benefits more than just airports. Do you have any bird-related problems in your agricultural field or orchard? Contact us at info@robird.com or submit an inquiry to discuss how we can help you. We are excited at the opportunity to trial our technology for you.

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