news articles about Falconry for bird abatement

News - Published news articles on Falconry-based bird control

Falcons in California Vineyards Protect the Grapes
Organic Consumers Association

It's that time of year that winegrowers dread: As their grapes approach peak ripeness, birds show up in droves in their vineyards for a feast.

Recently, some California vineyard managers have been trying a new method to keep hungry birds away, or rather a centuries-old one - falconry. In wine regions from Napa Valley to the Central Coast, a cottage industry of falconers has arisen; many already use trained birds of prey to scare birds away from airports, military installations and other crops. more...

Falconry and Vineyards

Grapes: Organic Production
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Birds are serious pests of grapes. Control is generally more difficult because birds are so mobile and the fact that many species are protected (so make sure the bird species is positively identified prior to taking control actions). Again, habitat modification is helpful to reduce attractiveness of nearby areas as nesting and resting sites. Flags, noisemakers of various kinds, mylar strips, etc., generally are effective for only a short time, and then birds become habituated to these devices and ignore them.

The most important problem birds are the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), starling (Sturnusbgh vulgaris), and the American robin (Turdus migratorius). more...

Falconry and sustainable agriculture

The Falcon and the Farmer
Wine Business

If you have had the chance to watch the charming documentary Winged Migration, you would know that many different species of birds can look rather stately or majestic when they work together as a team. Unfortunately, for many vineyard owners, that sort of imagery does not resonate well when you bring up the sour subject of migrant flocks of starlings--small black birds that roost at vineyards along the West Coast during the height of harvest season. more...

Falconry and pest birds at vineyards

Preying over a Cash Crop
San Luis Obispo Tribune

With their keen eyesight, good hunting skills and speed, falcons have become the preferred method for some local wine-grape growers who want to rid their vineyards of pests and keep costs to a minimum.

This year, nine vineyards in San Luis Obispo County have hired a falconer to scare away thousands of starlings -- small, mottled birds known as "winged rats," whose voracious appetites lead them to consume entire crops of grapes. more...

Falconry effective with pest starlings

The Lucky Ones
Animal Tracks Magazine

Name : Brad Felger

Occupation Farrier in San Luis Obispo county, maintaining care of horses’ feet with shoeing, trimming and basic cleaning.

Falconer, with Air Strike Technologies, is hired by local vineyards, hotels and other agricultural businesses to decrease the number of pest birds at their location. With a flying falcon in the area, pest birds such as seagulls and starlings will avoid that location thus, protecting crops they would otherwise feed on. more...

Airstrike Technology Brad Felger history

Winged Predators Taking Flight for Crop Protection
San Luis Obispo County Farmer & Rancher Magazine

Wine enthusiasts aren’t the only ones interested in wine grapes. Unfortunately, for many growers here on the Central Coast, so do a variety of birds - most notably the European starling. This black, light-speckled, robin-sized European import is most notorious to area growers for its voracious appetite in the vineyard. During the several weeks prior to harvest, as grapes begin to fully mature, most growers scramble to maintain some measure of bird control - because left untreated can spell serious damage to one’s crop.


Starlings are major pest birds for vineyards

Falcon First Aid
San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune

The Eagle has landed. Repeat: The eagle has landed. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to take off again. But, he soon will soar again, thanks to the rehabilitative efforts of some local folks.

Two North County volunteers for Pacific Wildlife Care have spent five months caring for Samson, a nine-pound, 10-year-old golden eagle whose home is the Santa Margarita Ranch. Samson came into the volunteers' care in November after nine of his 12 tail feathers were torn out by an unknown assailant.


Eagle rehabilitation

Eagle Training to go Back to the Wild
North County Telegram-Tribune

ATASCADERO -- When injured birds of prey need a helping hand, they get it from a young Atascadero horseshoer with a falconer's license.

Brad Felger said he’s gained a reputation for taking in hurt and injured birds, particularly hawks and falcons, because of his experience as a falconer.

"There aren't too many licensed falconers in the area," said Felger. In fact, he may be the only one,


Brad Felger and eagle rehabilitation

Clearing the Air
Santa Barbara News-Press

The county has tried lighting firecrackers to scare them away; they’ve flown toy planes and helicopters near them by remote control.

At other landfills, workers even set out stuffed sea gulls, contorted in positions of distress, to warn birds not to feed there.


Falconry and landfills

Wings Over the Vineyards
Paso Robles Gazette

One of civilizations’ most ancient arts may save the Central Coast’s newest cash crop.

Falconry, the art of hunting wild prey with trained raptors is reputed to be the oldest sport in the world. Now an Atascadero man, Brad Felger, is introducing falconry as a modern pest control management tool to help vineyards reduce the damage done to grapes by flocks of starlings.

Felger is owner and master falconer of Air Strike Technologies, a company that performs bird control using falconry.


Falconry in the Central Coast