|Location:||New York, United States|
|Problem definition:||Bird damage to grapes|
|Bird species:||Starlings (Sturnidae), Sparrows (Passeridae) and
|Bird Behavior||Foraging, perching and pecking|
|Time of the year with bird problems:||July-October|
|Time of the day with bird problems:||From dusk till dawn|
|Number of systems:||1 x Autonomic 500|
|In use since:||2018|
|Laser projection area:||10 acres (4,05 hectares)|
|Number of birds before Autonomic’s use:||100s|
|Bird reduction after the Autonomic’s use:||80%|
Airy Acres Vineyard protected their harvest successfully from bird damage using the laser bird deterrent
Fred Bassette, the owner of Airy Acres Vineyard, noticed that the birds had pecked many of the grapes that began to sweeten and he needed to find a solution to the bird damage. He started to look at different methods to prevent bird damage and decided to try the Autonomic. This led to Airy Acres Vineyard having a successful harvest in 2018.
“The birds that enter the vineyard have one plan, and that is to eat the grapes that are beginning to ripen. Before the laser was installed, I saw a lot of birds flying around, I couldn’t give you an exact number, but they were there all the time”, Fred Explains.
Airy Acres vineyard was initially going to choose the option of netting, which had to be placed over the grapes manually and had to be pulled off and on to get to the grapes. Fred says, “Netting is a pain in the neck to put up and down.”
He found out about the laser from the Orchard Magazine. This led him to the decision that the would be the best solution to prevent bird damage to his vineyard.
Netting vs. laser bird deterrent
Netting is a traditional method of bird control, but it is not always the most efficient one. Airy Acres Vineyard had problems with starlings that came in big flocks and damaged the grapes. Sparrows and finches would always find an opening in the netting and peck through it.
The laser bird deterrent will be put up in July of each year until February of the following year and can be automatically programmed to deter birds during the hours when they most commonly occur.
“The installation process was relatively straightforward. I did it myself, and the only difficult part was putting the Autonomic on top of the pole.”
Fred Bassette walked past his neighbor who used netting, and he saw a flock of birds around the area. When he walked back to his vineyard, he was happy to see no birds around.Fred plans to do demonstrations of the Autonomic for his fellow neighbors to share his insights on why he chose to use the laser technology.
“One of the coolest things I saw was a bird trying to fly into the vineyard and then took a hard turn. I knew that the laser repellent device was working.
Fred Bassette – Owner of Airy Acres Vineyard