Last year's yield was decreased 50% on the red varieties. This year the harvest was virtually left undamaged due to the BirdGard unit. I was very pleased with the BirdGard and would not hesitate to recommend it to other grape growers.
-Rutgers Cooperative Extension
The bird repellent equipment was highly successful in the fall of 1999. I was...a bit skeptical due to my past failures with sound cannons, shotguns and artificial bird stress calls. Our vineyard is surrounded by ash and oak trees that attract large numbers of roosting birds. Prior to fall 1999 we used costly and labor-intensive bird netting for damage control. This harvest year we had zero bird damage due to our use of BirdGard sound equipment. In early November when we harvested the last of our grapes, we disconnected the sound system early in the morning and started picking grapes. As we were picking hundreds of robins, starlings, and cedar waxwings flew into the vineyard. As an experiment we reconnected the sound system, all birds immediately flew far away. I look forward to using BirdGard bird repellent equipment for many years.
-David Buchanan, Owner
Tyee Wine Cellars, Corvallis, OR
The BirdGard unit's performance was very impressive and we are pleased with the results. The test (vineyard) was part of a 3.8-acre block stripped of its crop over a two-day period by birds last year. While the vineyard is far from its potential, we did harvest 1.5 tons of grapes this year. I believe that the yield would have been much less if not for the BirdGard. The alarm does a good job of scaring birds and it also does a good job of attracting predators.
I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with bird control in our newest vineyards. As you know, I now have nearly 30 acres of wine grape planted directly in the heart of federally designated conservation reserve program (CRP) land. We have always been a prime target for birds. I have used cannons, hawk kites, and netting in the past. I am delighted to tell you that we suffered less overall bird damage with the BirdGard system this year than any year previous. In fact, for this particular vintage, the BirdGard system proved superior to the netting and cannons used (previously). I am convinced of its effectiveness compared to the alternatives and with your guidance on installation, it was a "piece of cake".
-Rick Small, Winemaker
Woodward Canyon Winery, Lowden, WA
The three (BirdGard units) we used together are extremely effective for bird control and our neighbors appreciate the lower sound levels.
Oregon Blueberry Farms and Nursery, Silverton, OR
The species controlled was the common robin. The check in this instance was 14 years of annual loss. This year I experienced zero losses. It resulted in an additional six to eight tons of harvest on five acres of (blue)berries.
-Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
I went by our Madras substation last week and was extremely gratified to find that even though the bird population around the nearby stockyards has increased dramatically over last summer's numbers, there were no birds anywhere near our substation. In addition, there was no bird fecal material on the substation structure. The BirdGard appears to be working very well at both the Madras and the Bend substations.
-Jim Crowell, Member Services Director
Central Electric Cooperative, Inc., Redmond, OR
Control expenses in the past…were significant. With the start of damage and the deployment of the BirdGard units, crows abandoned (the orchards). We observed crows, sometimes in sizable flocks, in the vicinity…but, not in the treated orchards. Damage levels were…the lowest we have ever recorded. Based on bird counts, damage assessments, and economic analysis the approach was successful. Operating during the daylight hours, the BirdGard units provided a full-time degree of control when farm personnel were not present. The distress calls also reduced the need for shooting and pyrotechnics and thus the costs for those aspects of control. The initial response was dramatic; crows virtually abandoned the orchards after the start of the broadcasts. The integrated crow control program resulted in low damage levels on the study orchards. Distress calls played an important role in the overall control program. Distress calls for crows should be incorporated into control programs designed to protect agricultural crops whenever possible.
-University of California, Davis
I am writing to let you know how successful we were with your products during the 1999 harvest. We used a variety of your devices at Knudsen Vineyards and installed them as per your recommendations. There are sections of the vineyard that we normally write off as too hard to protect. This year the harvest was on and off so that on off days there was no one around to scare the birds. We took days off with the confidence that no disasters would occur in our absence. It was not a problem.
-Allen Holstein, Manager
Argyle Winery, Dundee, OR
I have completed tests with the BirdGard unit in cherry plantings. The trials in sweet cherries were very successful, and the orchard manager indicated he harvested the largest crop he can remember this year. Typically that block had suffered 40-50% crop loss each season. The standard chip with starling, robin, and finch distress calls should work well in cherry orchards.
-Cornell Cooperative Extension
Our technician who handles the peach harvesting in the trial was finding 10-20% damaged fruit each harvest. The day after we installed the BirdGard repeller, our percentage of bird damaged fruit dropped substantially to 2-3%. We feel like the repeller helped greatly.
The BirdGard units were used during a study of wading bird depredations at aquaculture facilities. At Site A, we lost no fish from open (unnetted) ponds protected by (the BirdGard unit). At Site B, we lost no fish from open (unnetted) ponds protected by (the BirdGard unit). At Site C, there was a great deal of bird activity before we installed (the BirdGard unit). During the study period, the number of (birds) at Site C declined substantially compared to the number observed there before the units were installed. At site C, we did not lose any fish from open (unnetted) ponds protected by the distress calls.
-US Department of Agriculture, Florida Field Station