DONEGAL County Council is advising farmers and growers who are experiencing problems with birds affecting crops or grain storage areas, that the use of traditional crow bangers should be considered only as a last resort.
The Councils advises that physical barriers should be used to stop birds getting into grain stores or feeding areas in the first instance. Farmers could also consider using an electronic bird scarer, which use a combination of distress calls, danger calls and harassment sounds with the sounds of predator birds to create a hostile environment and cause the birds to relocate to a safer location.
If all such alternative means of scaring birds are unsuccessful, the following steps may be taken to avoid causing a nuisance with the traditional banger:
• When in use, the disturbance of bangers on nearby hospitals, homes or schools should be minimised. For example, place them as far away as practicable, align them to point away from neighbours, and use baffles.
• Avoid using bangers within at least 200m (220 yards) of sensitive buildings before 8am, or before sunrise and do not use after 6pm, or after sunset.
• Take account of the prevailing wind when siting bangers & remember that noise travels much further downwind or from elevated sites.
• Where mechanical timers are used, ensure that they are regularly re-set to take account of continuous changes in sunrise and sunset times.
• Use reflective metal baffles or absorbent straw bales to concentrate the sound onto your field and away from neighbours wherever nuisance could be caused. These can be very effective in reducing noise levels in the required direction.