Move over scarecrows. Farmers are taking a new look at lasers as a way of scaring away birds who are eating their crops.
The laser bird deterrent technology, like the one from Bird Control Group, takes advantage of a bird's natural instincts. According to CEO Steinar Henskes, "We've developed a laser beam which birds perceive as a physical danger. So by moving it toward them they get scared and move away. They perceive it like a stick or like a car which approaches them."
Oregon blueberry and cherry grower Justin Meduri is leasing six of the lasers. Before he started using them he said he was losing about 20 percent of his crop. The lasers are mounted on a pole and project down on the area. They run off solar panels and recycled batteries.
"And they're on a variable frequency with an erratic pattern that comes on multiple times a day set up specifically at the times you would like them to come on and off," according to Meduri.
A green wavelength sends signals from the bird's eyes to their brains.
Bird Control Group says it has 6,000 customers in 76 countries in a variety of industries including agriculture, aviation, oil and gas, recreation and real estate.
The company has safety controls. If a laser strays out of the predetermined pattern potentially affecting a motorist, the system will shut down. It also doesn't fire any lasers skywards because that could interfere with air traffic.