Jason A

Pesky/noisy bird deterrent

26 posts in this topic

Has anyone here had success clearing noisy birds from set? Using nonlethal methods of course:) I have a long film shoot coming up that will be shot primarily in the Hoh rainforest here in Washington state. The main problem is this is a sci fi film, so the forest is suppose to be another planet. So a native crow call will not fly. Fortunately everyone is using practical headworn mics inside the helmets, so I feel like relatively distant birds will be manageable, but again close sounds will be a problem. Also, they don't have that big of a budget, so having a falconer on set is likely a no go. My first idea would be on set playback of native bird of  prey calls. Anyone here have success doing this, or have other solutions that worked?

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I use to work in downtown Austin. The city paid 2 people to walk around with 2 x 4's slapping them together and pointing green laser pointers at the birds steering them away from trees. Use two pancakes or apple boxes. 

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1 hour ago, kfairlee said:

I use to work in downtown Austin. The city paid 2 people to walk around with 2 x 4's slapping them together and pointing green laser pointers at the birds steering them away from trees. Use two pancakes or apple boxes. 

How effective was this? Did it work? 

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I've used Apple boxes to scare away loud birds right above set, but it doesn't really help with the ambient level of birds all around.  I have seen a house here that has high pitched chirping played from pizzo electric horns mounted with the security lights, I assumed it was to keep birds and rodents away from the house and lawn features.  If it actually works you could potentially playback really high pitched noise on set to quiet the birds.  I'll pm you info about the house so you can check it out.

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It's pretty immediate. You point the laser in the tree and they all flock away. They said that the green laser pointer actually helped keep them out of downtown permanently. I think it helps shape boundaries. 

In Austin we have this bird that kinda of looks like a crow but smaller called a Grackle. At sundown they all flock to the trees of large parking lots. I've seen the fake bird scarecrow thing and heard the birdcall but those birds really don't care. The only thing I've seen work is the green laser pointer. 

I don't have one but it's been on my mind. I often resort to the apple box method which isn't as effective. 

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Green laser sounds cool. 

Or a starter pistol. 

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All good options. Thanks for the replies. I'm going to research the laser pointer. Curious why that has such an affect and if it is specie specific. Time to contact some bird nerds! I have worked in Austin before and those Grackles are indeed incessant.

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3 hours ago, kfairlee said:

It's pretty immediate. You point the laser in the tree and they all flock away. They said that the green laser pointer actually helped keep them out of downtown permanently. I think it helps shape boundaries. 

In Austin we have this bird that kinda of looks like a crow but smaller called a Grackle. At sundown they all flock to the trees of large parking lots. I've seen the fake bird scarecrow thing and heard the birdcall but those birds really don't care. The only thing I've seen work is the green laser pointer. 

I don't have one but it's been on my mind. I often resort to the apple box method which isn't as effective. 

Bronzed Grackles are in Florida by the boatload..and that green laser idea sounds intriguing. If I was a Grackle, I wouldn't like either I guess..

21 minutes ago, Jason A said:

Curious why that has such an affect and if it is specie specific. Time to contact some bird nerds!

I'd love to know what they say.

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After doing some more research it sounds like the affect of the laser pointer very's depending on species (not surprising), but research seems  to show it will at least have some affect on most. It sounds like crows are some of the least affected unfortunately. They will leave the area temporarily, but usually return within 10 minutes or so. At least enough time to get a shot off. Ordering a green laser today!

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worth noting that it's important not to accidentally point the laser at a passing aircraft since that can disturb the pilots and result in a lot of hassle (or in worst case jail time).

also check what max power is legal in your area (for green laser usually around 5mW).

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Water rubber, if possible, for close trees. Distant trees, laser. Talk with post, try your best, maybe ADR is better (and secure) way in final product.

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Water rubber, if possible, for close trees. Distant trees, laser. Talk with post, try your best, maybe ADR is better (and secure) way in final product.

If I may ask, what's water rubber?

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I came across these last year when having a similar problem

http://www.birdgard.com.au/pest-control/laser-gun

http://birdsoff.com.au/broadband-pro-sonic-ultrasonic-bird-deterrent/

I never ended up purchasing either, but they both looked interesting.

I also did a job last year where the characters where in a space suit and helmet. I think you'll find that because the mic is so close to the characters mouth and is gained so low, that outside noises are not as problematic as you might think. I would suggest you put 2 radios in there gained differently. It can also be quite difficult for the wearer of the helmet to hear the other actors/director so a comms unit is a must.


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9 hours ago, Constantin said:


If I may ask, what's water rubber?

Sorry, I don't know how it's called in English. Hihi

lastixo.jpg

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Actually, when I googled "water rubber" that's one of the results. If I'm not mistaken the word is "hose"

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Shotgun

mike

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I put some recordings of birds of prey (the ones that sometimes eat the small ones) on my phone and play them back via a loud bluetooth speaker, sometimes works well (depends on the birds).

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Working in lumberyard--- tons of birds nests.  Of course during scout they were quiet........    And it being spring, at baby chick feeding time the chirps got really loud.  Slapping pancakes worked for a bit but at a certain point the parents just got scared and pissed off so maybe the slapping of pancakes might have made things worse.   It really only got much better between feedings....   or while the shooting crew was away.   But with a large crew with generators and bright lights, the birds were just angry.   

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Here in and around Oakland we won't be using any firearms against birds, or anything that sounds like firearms (whacking apple boxes with a piece of wood)--someone might get het-up and "return fire".  The laser idea would be great if it worked--I hope someone tries it and reports.

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Im in pre production on something where we're in the bush for 3 months, so I've tried the laser idea with the production office. Hopefully they agree and I can test it out. It's very expensive! Had prices from $7000AUD to $3500AUD.

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Im in pre production on something where we're in the bush for 3 months, so I've tried the laser idea with the production office. Hopefully they agree and I can test it out. It's very expensive! Had prices from $7000AUD to $3500AUD.

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Really that much? Wow... From reading this thread I got the impression that a simple laser pointer would work as well. I just bought one for €20, but I haven't actually tried it yet

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I believe the difference in the €20 version and the $7000 version is intensity. If you want to use it during the day in full sun then it needs to be very powerful. In Australia laser pointers are heavily regulated ( as are a lot of things! ), So one powerful enough is actually very difficult to get and is illegal in some states without a licence so its probably a lot more expensive then it should be.

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I sure hope nobody in my area doesn't try to hush birds with a 5000 EUR laser!

Seriously, at this level you're pretty much guaranteed to kill somebody eyesight if he gets caught in the beam - lasers are *very* dangerous at higher intensities.

chris

ps: I should add that the birds certainly won't be pleased to loose their eyesight either, so please get professional advice (i.e. not from soundies, no offence) before you buy one of these.

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