Hi, I’m Hugh Fraser, Agricultural Engineer
with the Ontario government. In this segment, I’ll show you how to properly
install a propane-fired, bird scaring cannon, more often known as a bird banger. Bird control
in vineyards is important to protect marketable grapes from bird predation
in the autumn. A bird banger is an acoustic bird deterrent.
When it fires, it emits a cannon-type sound that helps scares birds away from eating grapes
from the time they start ripening up to the time they are harvested.
The device contains a cylindrical barrel, open at one end. It has a spark plug, propane
tank and a control box that allows adjustment of the sound loudness and firing frequency.
The spark plug ignites propane in the barrel, creating the cannon-type sound. This bird
banger fires three times over a period of about 17 seconds.
The first shot is designed to startle birds, the second to drive them away, and the third
to deter them from returning. When the bird banger fires, the shock wave
produced causes the barrel to recoil and spin away from the direction of the emitted sound. The bird banger sits on a tripod about 2 metres
tall. There is one adjustable leg so the bird banger can be set up as level as possible,
so the bird banger will fire in all directions over time. If the bird banger
is not level, then after the third and final shot the canon will resettle in the same orientation which then
means it will always fire the first shot in the same direction. This can
be aggravating if it is pointing towards a neighbour’s home, because the sound
is louder when a bird banger points directly at a receptor. It is important
for neighbours to be tolerant of growers who use bird bangers to protect
their crops, but likewise, growers need to be tolerant of neighbours needs too.
For more information on properly installing a bird banger, go to our
website, or give us a call. Factsheet titled “Using Propane fired canyons to
keep birds away from vineyards” at www.ontario.ca 1-877-424-1300