BBC News recently reported on an important innovation in airport bird control which, after successful tests at Southampton Airport, should deliver a significant change in the way that bird hawking is conducted at airports.
A realistic bird-like advanced drone is being flown at the airport to scare other birds away from aeroplane engines during take-off and landing procedures. This reduces flight delays and makes runways safer. As other birds perceive hawks as a threat they recognise the danger, their survival instinct takes over and they fly away.
Rather than flying a real hawk, as is the usual method, a robotic substitute called Robird, is used, controlled via remote control from the ground by a drone pilot to replicate the activities and reactions of a live hawk.
Vitally, it is 100% humane.
“Robird” airport bird control is managed as though it’s in a traditional bird hawking programme.
There is no risk that it will attack the birds they are scaring. A live hawk is trained not to attack but this step is negated by the adoption of the advanced drone.
A flight programme is managed by a specialist and the drone can fly at a variety of times to scare; not only during take-off and landing.
There is no reason why after the airport bird control drones are rolled out across commercial UK airports that they could not be adopted in a range of environments, from private airfields, to aid efficiency for flying ambulances, armed forces bases, farms and smallholdings. Whilst offices, depots and industrial units may not have engines to factor in to bird control measures, bird hawking via this new technology could become a staple treatment option for licensed firms including Apex Environmental Services.
Bird Hawking Rules Apply
Preserving public health and safety and air safety are two of the four legally permitted reasons for bird control in the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 under General Licence.
All wild bird species, their nests and eggs are protected under UK law and a specialist bird controller appreciates that there are varying levels of protection offered dependant on the species.
Secure Peace of Mind
The latest technology and techniques, the highest quality tools, excellent cost effectiveness and service delivery are only secured via professional firms; trying to manage a bird infestation in-house is unwise, dangerous and could prove to be a waste of time and money. Hawking programmes, of live birds, and eventually robots, should be coordinated by specialists with the qualifications and experience to attain results.
As an expert trialling the measure at Southampton airport commented to the BBC, it is necessary to think like a bird of prey. This can prove difficult for them, but it would be an unlikely attribute in a novice flying their own undisguised drone. Professionals take the hard work away from you and in to their knowledgeable hands.
In commercial spaces bird hawking is often combined with bio-acoustics for maximum effectiveness, whilst this isn’t always practical for airports, it could be just what you need to rid your property of nuisance birds.