Top 5 Tips to Implement Effective Bird Control at Your Vineyard
The National Association of American Wineries states that grapes are the highest value fruit crop in the US. American vineyards are severely affected by bird damage during the harvest season, as the grapes begin to ripen and sweeten. If no bird control method is applied prior to the harvest season, it becomes more challenging and costly to keep birds away from vineyards. 1
We can provide our top 5 tips for you to ensure that you have a successful harvest season.
1. Identify the type of birds causing the damage and their behavior.
Bird damage to vineyards is a result of the temperate climate, meaning that the changes between winter and summer are not that extreme. This causes a two month long ripening season for grapes. Due to this, the wine grapes are more vulnerable to birds pecking at them. The most common pest bird species that wineries can spot in New Zealand are blackbirds and silvereyes. These two species are challenging to control because they have different types of behaviors. Blackbirds have a tendency to eat the whole grape, while silvereyes only peck at the grapes.
2. Do you know which parts of your vineyard need bird control?
After the pest birds and their behavior have been identified, you should then find out what area needs to be protected from birds. This helps to ensure that the best solution is provided and the necessary areas are protected from possible bird problems. Griffin’s Lair Vineyards decided that 21 acres of the vineyard needed to be protected. Thus, they installed 4 automated laser bird deterrent systems.
3. Cut labor costs as much as you can.
An automated bird repellent device eliminates your labor costs and doesn’t require other traditional methods of bird control – you simply don’t need them.
Griffin’s Lair got 4 Autonomic devices installed. It is easy to monitor an automated bird repellent because you are able to save over 16 different patterns and 3-time slots enabling bird repelling capability at the periods and places of your choice. Griffin’s Lair, says: “I spent more than 25,000 US dollars per year (which is 1,190 US dollars per acre) on netting and labor costs as bird control methods.”
4. Prevent bird habituation.
The laser bird repellent has proven that birds don’t get habituated to it. The Autonomic is a system that uses the bird’s natural instincts. When the green laser beam is projected towards birds, it is perceived as a threat by birds and therefore birds rarely ever become habituated to this device. Griffin’s Lair has been using 4 automated bird control devices since 2017. They achieved a 99.8% reduction in birds.