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Development of an Electronic System and Field Protocol for Control of Crows in Almond Orchards

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  031145,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14932) @2003
Authors:   Andrew Houk, Paul Gorenzel
Keywords:   American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos, almonds, bird hazing, distress calls, warning calls

The American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a common pest in almonds. Warning and distress calls are well known to haze crows out of almond orchards and keep them away for some time. There are devices on the market used to broadcast distress calls for hazing purposes. Although effective in alleviating crow damage in almonds, the devices are costly. Studies on the effectiveness of distress calls have been conducted, however none have approached the matter from a grower standpoint. Broadcasting techniques of the distress calls are useful, but without a proper field protocol, improper implementation of broadcasting units may not yield desired results. This paper reports the effectiveness of a production scale protocol currently being tested, outlining proper implementation of broadcasting units. We have successfully designed and built a new broadcasting unit, more affordable to growers than available models. A selection of effective distress calls have been recorded and edited for use in the units. Lastly, the testing of the protocol has begun. The protocol testing is still underway, but it is far enough along that we have begun to note a reduction of damage in a number of test sites.

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