How best to protect your vineyards from birds that love sweet grapes?

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Birds munching on ripe grapes can be a big problem in the vineyards. We have seen it in New Zealand and South Africa; it occurs in Australia and elsewhere around the world. However, from what we have seen it is not a big problem in Europe, at least not in France.

In those countries that have problems, it is common to protect the grapes from bird-attacks with netting. You can also use visual scare tactics, such as stuffed birds of prey.

You can install a “cannon” in the vineyard that regularly gives off loud bangs and thus hopefully scares away the birds. The latest technology is to use a drone. Maybe this will prove to be both more efficient and less expensive.

However, a recently published report shows the importance of understanding bird psychology. The drone had the best result if it combined several different scare tactics. The drone was equipped with both a speaker that sent out distress calls and a stuffed crow hanging under it. This way, the birds will better remember all the dangers lurking in that particular vineyard.

Read more about how to scare away birds in the vineyard with a drone: ciencia-e-vinho

Bird scaring cannon in a vineyard in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Bird scaring cannon in a vineyard in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, copyright BKWine Photography
Nets to protect from bird damage in a vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand
Nets to protect from bird damage in a vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand, copyright BKWine Photography
Bird scaring siren/loudspeaker in a vineyard in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Bird scaring siren/loudspeaker in a vineyard in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, copyright BKWine Photography
A drone (not for bird damage protection)
A drone (not for bird damage protection), copyright BKWine Photography

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