Two grey geese in flight with wings outstretched.

The science behind bird dispersal equipment

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There are a number of important variables involved when employing bird dispersal equipment in and around airports. They can include the species of bird involved, the size of the facility, the behaviour of the local wildlife, the availability of a food source and the number of flights that are handled on a daily basis. After many years of working in this niche industry, we’ve understandably come to the conclusion that no two situations are exactly the same. 

A scenario that could potentially play out at London Gatwick, for example, may have no real relevance to what would be needed in Chicago. Therefore, we take every single case as a stand-alone, unique set of challenges that need to be overcome. The tactics and equipment that we use could therefore be just as individualistic. Unfortunately for everyone in the aviation sector, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to be found. 

Chief among our weaponry is our bio-acoustic bird dispersal equipment, which can generally work in one of two main ways. By emitting calls from a known predator, for example, it will inform the local birds of an imminent threat. Alternatively, it can be used to produce distress calls from the local bird population, which will then inform the flock of the need to disperse. Again, which of these options is chosen will be decided by the relevant set of circumstances. 

Keeping the birds away from the danger areas 

The whole point of either scenario, of course, is to make the environment as unattractive as possible to the birds. Keeping them well away from the runways and other areas is crucial for the safety of planes, their passengers and their crew members alike. Here at Scarecrow, we use high quality audio recordings of a large cross-section of bird and other wildlife calls, which means products such as our B.I.R.D. System can be easily adapted for airports in all parts of the world. 

Needless to say, ridding the runway of birds at any specific moment will only ever be part of the bigger picture. It’s so important for airport managers to do all they can to understand why birds are gathering in the first place. Once all the relevant information is gathered over a period of time, it will become easier to interpret movements, and to predict future behaviour. This can take many months and even years, but monitoring and recording such information is easier now than ever before. 

Scarecrow’s B.I.R.D. Tab is in essence two separate systems in one. It can be used for effective bird dispersal as and when needed, but, crucially, it can also be used to log information and analyse it on an ongoing basis. This helps the users to paint a reliable picture of activities both now and into the future. Understanding what the local bird population will do and when it will be done can help to make airports safer than ever before. 

If you’d like to find out more about Scarecrow’s products and our commitment to making air travel ever more safe, all you have to do is get in touch. We can be reached on 01825 766 363. We hope to hear from you very soon.