Webinar presenter Dave Pauli answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Roosting Bird Conflicts. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: So, Dave, can you just touch on really quickly as a recap, what are your top picks for hazing birds again?
Dave Pauli: Okay, good question, it is kind of species-dependent. I would say, first of all, we’re assuming that we found out what’s attracting them, and we can’t remove that or whatever. Human activity, just getting under the roof shaking the branches, be there at night when they’re coming in. Green laser light really works well. Any kind of noise maker even those little New Year’s Eve shaking your hand things, gourdes, anything that makes noise. But you want to make aggressive noise, you want them to know that you’re just not down there. You’re not listening to elevator music. You want to have maybe some Deep Purple Smoke Underwater blazing and let them know that they’re, they’re not invited. So, sometimes you have to get up in the tree, a long extension pole, a safe ladder, and as they’re trying to roost you’re trying to say, “No, you’re not going to roost here.” So, those would be the main things would be visual. So, they know you’re a predator trying to get them out of there. Auditory, so there’s some noise involved and then maybe some physical contact. I know one guy that uses Paintball Gun to do that, I’d be a little concerned that’d paint the neighbors’ houses. But you know, that’s the kind of thing. You want to have some kind of contact with the bird, and you want to have a realistic expectation, that’s, you’re not just doing it Wednesday night, you’re doing it Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night. And by Saturday night, they’re going to get the message that this crazy person is not going to give up and they should move their roost to a better place.
Audience Question: So, for the goose with the prosthesis, what will the post-release monitoring be once it’s released?
Dave Pauli: That’s exactly the problem, Katie. And a bird is doing so well in captivity. She’s in a sanctuary where she has a netted cover. I think the sanctuary is probably just going to keep her, of course, as a wildlife rehabilitator, our goal is always to get them out there. But on a migratory bird like that, we would have a really new way to tell. And actually, the longer we keep her, as long as she’s happy, the more information we’re going to get to see if that glue that epoxy ever fails, so it’s a great question. It’s one we struggled with, right away because in the early stages, she didn’t like captivity. But she’s kind of grown used to free groceries and other geese. And so, I honestly think we’re going to just keep her and monitor her for the rest of her life.
Audience Question: Have there been any studies on how effective auditory recordings of raptors are for hazing? The audience member goes on to say farms in our area use them fairly frequently to protect their berries. Dave, what’s your take on that?
Dave Pauli: Yeah. That’s a great question. I’ll take a look at that after this call. I have not looked at the research as far as birds. But distress calls worked great for so many other species. I think I did see something on one of the US Fish and Wildlife Services about distress calls for crow roosting. So, I think it has great potential, it is relatively inexpensive, and it definitely applies to one more tool. So, it will work. I’m pretty confident, that if you just did that, you might not work, but if you did that in combination with several things, you should have pretty good success. So, I will take a look at that.
Audience Question: Pat was also saying, also playing alarm calls, as deterrence for cowbirds and blackbirds, and that kind of thing.
Dave Pauli: Yes, And those are both good suggestions. I think they’re more used for when a bird is coming into a feed site, a crop. And then they’re not an established roost. I think they’re used pretty commonly for that. But they should work for a roost too. Alarm calls, stress calls. I use, I would, again, was just on a dog trapping thing, dog catching thing, and I used a crying puppy to bring in dogs. And so, I have a crying puppy on my cell phone. And dogs will come right up to me and look at my pocket, and I’m able to capture them so. Auditory is really good for animals. I’m always a little concerned about what the message is, but if it’s an alarm call or stress call, it should have a rappelling effect. So, I would combine that with the other things and have pretty good luck, I would think.