"Coincidentally, at around the same time, I got a call from a man named Getty Pollard
who offers crop protection using falcons and we elected to try it and see what would happen."Pollard, owner of B-1RD, LLC, Lostine, OR, began his work by evaluating the farm's property to determine how many acres needed to be covered, the topography of the land-whether it was flat, if it had trees or was mostly open field-and conducting a general survey of the environment.
had a layout of the land, Pollard
decided that he
would need around seven weeks to effectively create the predatory presence necessary to stave off the populations of starlings that frequented the farm's blueberry fields."I began to fly my falcons one at a time for several hours at the crack of dawn and again in the evening," said Pollard
."The idea is to condition the starlings to believe that there are predators in the area and that they should look for food elsewhere."To achieve this, Pollard
falcons in various "modes."Sometimes, he
birds to simply soar over the fields and occasionally, they just sat on perches scattered throughout the property.For groups of starlings that were more resistant to the falcons, he
large birds to flap their wings quickly, to dive as if attacking prey or to chase the starlings, thus displaying more aggressive behaviors.
The falcons worked so well, the farm is currently installing perches throughout its properties.Pollard
team of handlers also followed a "loose" formula for determining how long they would fly each bird, factoring in heat and humidity, the intensity of each mode the bird would be asked to display and the relative hunger of individual bird-a figure calculated by weighing the falcon several times a day."There is a lot of training and effort that goes into each bird to elicit these responses and they are rewarded for their behavior with food," he