June 29, 2023

Pistachio Farm Reduces Cockatoo and Parrot Damage by 95% with the AVIX Autonomic Laser Deterrent

Featured image for “Pistachio Farm Reduces Cockatoo and Parrot Damage by 95% with the AVIX Autonomic Laser Deterrent”
Location:Harefield, Australia
Application context:Pistachio farm (Agriculture)
Problem definition:Bird damage to pistachio nuts
Bird species:Cockatoos, and pink South Crest parrots
Bird behavior:Foraging
Time of the year with bird problems:from January to March
Number of systems:1 x AVIX Autonomic Mark II
In use since:2022
Laser projection area:20 acres
Bird damage reduction after the laser deployment:95%
Before AVIX AutonomicAfter AVIX Autonomic
Yearly cost of bird damage to the farm:AUD 25,000AUD 3,571
Yearly production:30 tonnes43 tonnes
Percentage of crop loss:35%5%

The fully automated laser system saves around 25K of pistachios from birds each year

Scott Newton, a pistachio grower in Harefield, had been struggling with bird damage on his farm for a few years. The birds, mainly white Australian cockatoos, and pink South Crest parrots, would flock to his grove and wreak havoc on his crop. Initially, a single bird scout would arrive at the farm to assess the situation, followed by 300–400 more.The problem usually occurred from January to March, when the nuts were at a certain level of ripeness and emitted a tempting aroma for the birds.

Around 35% of Scott’s pistachios used to be destroyed, resulting in substantial yearly losses. Desperate to find a solution, he tried various methods to scare the birds away, including gas cannons, drones, and even hiring young men to ride motorbikes up and down the field. However, these methods were ineffective, and the birds would quickly return after being scared off.

While browsing for bird control solutions online, Scott discovered the AVIX Autonomic Laser Bird Repellent, created by Bird Control Group. So, he reached out to Michelle from Bird Beam, a reliable Australian partner of Bird Control Group, to discuss his situation. Impressed by the concept, Scott decided to invest in the laser system.

The laser system emits a green beam that birds perceive as a threat, triggering their flight response and causing them to fly away and avoid the area. Once the system was installed on his 20-acre farm with approximately 1500 trees, Scott noticed a significant reduction in bird activity.

The farmer found that the laser system reduced bird damage by about 95%, from an estimated 35% to only 5%. This resulted in savings of approximately $25,000, which he estimated to be his yearly cost of bird damage before using the laser system. The laser had effectively deterred the cockatoos and other colorful parrots that were less damaging. 

Finally, Scott admitted that the remarkable reduction in bird damage and the subsequent increase in his crop yield justified the investment. He acknowledged that the laser system had revolutionized his approach to bird control, replacing the ineffective and labor-intensive methods he had relied on in the past.

“You’re just saving time. Putting it up there costs you nothing. It operates on solar power, is straightforward to program, and comes with a minimal installation cost as I was able to install it myself guided through a call on zoom!”

Scott Newton, Pistachio grower, Harefield, Australia

Bird Control Group’s automated laser bird repellent provides 24/7 protection from wild birds by shining a green laser light in the area affected by the problem. Get in touch via the form below if you are interested in learning more.