Bird Management

There are drones that have been designed to mimic the flight behavior of predator birds to scare away pest birds that feed off the fruit from a grower’s crop. Further, many of these drones have a predator bird silhouette and emit sounds that add to the alarming menace of the drone. Currently, these drones must be flown manually: manually launched with a start button, or have its flight pattern pre-programmed to execute an autonomous flight. However, in the near future, we will see these drone systems utilizing automation and artificial intelligence technology that will recognize incoming flight movement which will activate the drones to launch and target the encroaching pest birds. The drones will be stationed around the field so that when they detect birds flying into or out of a field’s perimeters, they will launch and drive away the pest birds. This technological advancement will help with pest control and remove the need for traditional bird control measures.

Drone TypesPurposeProsCons
Biomimetic Drones
(Ex. Bird-X and Robird®)
Mimics predator bird appearance and flight behaviors. It s flown in the crop field to frighten other birds away.Recent studies have shown that regularly flying a drone in the field has a high percentage of effectiveness for protecting the crop yieldIt must be manually launched or flown, or pre-programmed flight pattern created before any flight missions.
If the drone features or it’s flight pattern is too simple, birds can become less frightened over time, thus less effective deterrent.
Biomimetic Drones with AI and machine learning technology
(Ex. RaptAir Bird, and V-Raptor)
Using AI and machine learning to change drone’s response to the environment and pest bird’s behavior, the ability for the drone to detect and frighten away more birds is greatly enhanced.AI and machine learning allow for change in the flight behavior of drone which enhances its ability to remain a deterrent.expensive
Quadcopter Drone design
(Ex. Aerodrone Avian Scout)
Frightens pest birds away from the field by chasing them out of the field and booming out a variety of sounds the birds find threatening from a sound box that is affixed to the drone.Uses two types of deterrent strategies: The presence of the drone flying and sounds birds find threatening or alerting them to danger.expensive

Comment: An article in Good Fruit Grower Magazine discusses a study done by Washington State University researchers in 2018. Among their findings they showed the number of birds flying in and out of the target field on days with and without a drone presence. They found the bird activity to be 3.5 to 5.1 times greater on days when no drone flying occurred. Click link to read article

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