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A Different Take on Guard Animals

August 5, 2012

While researching some other topic I came across an article posted in an Oregon newspaper about falcons being used to protect blueberry crops and vineyards.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture reports that Gingerich Farms of Canby is using falcons to chase starlings and other pest birds from the fields. Farm owner Verne Gingerich told the ODA that starlings mocked previous attempts by roosting on  towers until farmhands left the area, then returning to eat.

“With the falcons on site, the starlings no longer have security in our towers,”  Gingerich told the ODA. “It has been a real efficient way of patrolling birds. This year, we’ve seen starlings around the perimeter. There is no doubt that if the falcons weren’t on our farm, the starlings would be back in our fields.”

The falcons come from an Oregon company called B-1RD, owned by Getty Pollard. Blueberry farmers, grape growers and others are the latest to use falcons for pest control.

Anyone here in West Virginia think of this??

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2012 9:10 am

    Great Story ~ Thanks for sharing!

    • August 5, 2012 7:25 pm

      It’s interesting to hear how others deal with similar issues.

  2. August 5, 2012 9:16 am

    We had a similar problem going on in our large garden at the Ranch. One day my wife came home from garage sailing with a big rubber snake and a plastic Owl. She mounted the Owl in the garden and laid the snake on a section of bare earth. I was amazed to see birds head toward the garden, then veer off suddenly, never landing in the garden! Of course the horses one day found my electric fence had given up the ghost and they made quick work of smashing everything down, including the fence around the garden. But… at least our bird problem went away!

    • August 5, 2012 7:25 pm

      If it’s not one thing, it’s another and that was an issue long before Roseann Roseannadanna.

  3. August 5, 2012 9:45 am

    I’m for the rubber snake and the plastic owl. WV tried multiflora roses to supplement farm fencing and we’ll never see the end of those thorny pests. Then there were the “lady bugs” from Asia that were brought here [on purpose!] to eat the eggs of “less desirable” bugs. Please don’t tell the WVDA to consider importing more predatory birds to compete with hawks for our free range poultry (not to mention small dogs and cats).

    • August 5, 2012 7:24 pm

      If the fake animals located in the berry patches do the trick, that is great, but I know, in talking to some local berry farmers, that they lose a lot to birds. A lot can be saved with judicious use of netting. This concept of hawks flying protection is from a service provider, not about introducing the birds into a new area.

  4. August 5, 2012 1:05 pm

    I like the idea. With imported starlings taking over native bird species, it’s a great idea to restore some balance.

    • August 5, 2012 7:20 pm

      There is always a problem when someone introduces a new species into an ecosystem. I know there are hawks here as I hear the farmers with chickens report losses to me.

  5. August 5, 2012 9:45 pm

    Try the rubber snake and plastic owl…what can it hurt? after all, they won’t attack folks chickens plus they don’t reproduce 🙂

    • August 6, 2012 7:03 am

      Very true. I am in favor of all “can;t hurt” attempts of fix problems.

  6. barbara tuckwiller permalink
    August 6, 2012 8:06 am

    At watts roost vinryard we encourage a family of hawks to remain. This definitely helps with bitd control.

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