Do Bird Cannons Work?
Birds have a knack for going where their presence can cost your operation in time and resources, pose a danger to the birds themselves, or even to humans.
A large flock of starlings can consume up to 1 ton of blueberries in 10 days, exposure to dangerous chemicals found in tailings ponds is an environmental threat and can cost your organization, and a 4 kg Canada goose can cause an airlplane to crash.
The question is, can a low-cost propane bird cannon prevent this?
The short answer is yes. We have long understood that loud noises scare birds. The Japanese Shishi-odoshi – a swinging bamboo arm that hits a rock – has been used for centuries to keep birds out of gardens. We’ve taken that same principle and juiced it up to create 120 dB explosions. The proof is in the widespread use; airplane passengers are protected by Zon Electra Scare Cannons at the world’s largest airports.
Bird Cannons work in two distinct ways. The first and strongest is the fear/startle reaction. Many birds are exposed to hunting pressure and learn to associate the sound of a shotgun with real danger. Even if they haven’t been exposed to hunters, the loud, unnatural sound of a cannon detonation is enough to startle birds into the area and chase them out of the control area. While the fear reaction will be effective over a larger area, the sudden blasts of a propane cannon also act as a continual shock to their senses and will interrupt natural behaviour, keeping them nervous, on edge, and more susceptible to other scare tactics.
However, there is no magic button in wildlife control. The fear and disruption created by a cannon must be stronger than the attractant bringing the birds in. Just like antelope in the Savannah will face the dangers of lions to get to fresh water, birds will be more resistant to any deterrent if they need the food or shelter available in your control area.
These three techniques have been proven on increase the effectiveness of Bird Cannons:
1. Switch Things Up
It is important to vary your strategy to prevent birds from becoming accustomed to the noise. Bird Cannons should regularly be moved. The higher the bird pressure, the more it should be moved – once every 2-3 days under the heaviest pressure. Take advantage of the Random firing modes offered by the Zon Electra Scare cannon or use the 360 rotating tripod to keep the cannon moving. Disguising the cannon using camouflage paint or covers will prevent birds from associating the sound with a single source.
2. Use On-Demand Activation
Use On-Demand activation to ensure the bird cannons only detonate when they have maximum effect. One perfectly timed cannon blast directly beside a flock of European Starlings will have more effect than more frequent detonations further away. The Push-Button control and radio controlled cannon upgrades are particularly effective.
3. Chaos and Confusion Keep Birds Away
Bird Cannons are the base for the most effective bird control programs. Adding different effects on top increases the effectiveness of your program as a whole and eliminates the problems of bird habitation. Not only do birds have difficulty processing multiple threats all occurring in the same area, but other products such as pyrotechnic scare cartridges or combining cannons with falconry also convinces the birds that there are consequences to propane blasts, which keeps the propane blasts scaring even when the other deterrents are not used.