In all of these settings — protecting pistachios and other agricultural assets; keeping pigeons and crows away from dairies; driving clouds of gulls from landfills; as well as protecting against bird-aircraft strike hazards, or “BASH” incidents — the fundamental way to prevent avian damage is repulsion, also known as “hazing.” The key to hazing birds from places they want to, but shouldn’t be, is to understand what stimulus forces them to leave. Aside from BASH incidents, the only damage caused by birds is when they are on the ground. So, the trick is to drive them into the air.
Hardshell Labs’ understanding of avian motivation is at the heart of our approaches to protecting crops, preventing the problems of disease vectoring and food stock depredation at dairies, and assisting landfills and composting facilities to prevent scavenging birds from exploiting their sites. Different birds respond to different cues and make different decisions, but in all cases, the goal is to tilt the bird’s cost-benefit analysis, convincing them that staying where we don’t want them is more trouble than it is worth.
Our experiments and early commercial application with lasers, aerial drones and ground rovers all show great promise in annoying birds so they go away. Our hazing work, which is consistent with restrictions set by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Office, is yielding detailed knowledge of what tools work with which species and in which circumstances. Hardshell Labs’ methods represent the most humane approach to avian deterrence, particularly when compared with the most widely used hazing method — the shotgun.