Audible Bird Scare Devices (including propane cannons) are a tool used by farmers to minimize bird predation on crops. These devices emit a loud noise that frightens birds away from the crop. The use of audible bird scare devices to protect crops is a common practice in blueberries, cherries and grapes. The use of these devices has resulted in noise complaints from neighbours. As a result the Ministry and others have studied the issue and some of the information is collected here.
Notice: The Audible Bird Scare Device Bylaw No. 2210-2013 requires that Farmers using any Audible Bird Scare Devices must register annually with the City of Abbotsford to ensure audible bird scare devices are used in a socially responsible manner. This year we are encouraging all growers to complete and submit registration online here.
The City of Abbotsford requires that all growers have a bird management plan and expect farmers to monitor bird populations and activity on their properties to keep their records (bird management plan) up to date throughout the season. The use of ABSDs should correlate with the bird pressure as noted by the farmer in this plan. If bird management plan documents are not kept up to date as required the City may issue fines accordingly.
Farmers are encouraged to take an integrated approach to bird control on their farms. The following factsheet is designed for blueberry growers using audible bird scare devices.
Delta, the Township of Langley, and Abbotsford have developed bylaws to manage the use of ABSDs. If you farm in one of these areas please make yourself aware of the bylaws and the fine structures for non-compliance.