(WYTV)- The scarecrow is a part of Halloween, it might frighten trick-or-treaters but does it really work on birds?
Yes and no. Scientific tests have found that placing scarecrows near a small pond will keep 95% of ducks away. But certain species don’t seem to notice them.
In the 1930s, wildlife scientists sent a scarecrow out on a raft at a West Virginia fish hatchery.
Most birds stayed away, the kingfisher bird ignored the scarecrow completely. But scarecrows are usually planted in cornfields, are they effective?
The traditional scarecrow that never moves, just hangs motionless will chase away what are called “pest birds” the crows and blackbirds, but it’s temporary. The birds eventually get used to stationary dummies and go for the corn.
So trick the birds: scarecrows with realistic facial features and brightly colored clothes keep the birds away a little longer, and move the scarecrow around every few days. That helps.
Moving scarecrows are best: scientists in 1989 took a human-like mannequin and planted an air cannon beneath it to lurch the mannequin upwards from time to time. That was enough to protect six full acres of sunflowers from blackbirds.
A scarecrow called “Agrilaser” is a robot that sweeps laser beams to keep birds away. A solar-powered scarecrow uses an infrared eye to see critters with heat and when a bird gets too close, the scarecrow fires off a harmless supersonic wave.