Hazing - Biosonics

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Control / Environmental and Population Management / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords  
  • Use of broadcasts of pre-recorded distress, warning or alarm calls to disperse a single species, or closely related species, from the immediate area of the broadcast. 

(D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11,  D210.4.w4)

  • The BirdGard device is programmable with up to four alarm or guard calls. 
    • Intervals between broadcasts can be randomised.
    • A particular programmed call can be turned off or on as desired. 
    • Uses a 12 volt battery; a solar powered version is available.
    • A version with up to 20 speakers is available.
    • A marine version is available with calls of various gulls plus cormorants.


Appropriate Use (?)
  • For use on large flocks of the appropriate species. (D135.3.w3)
  • Effective on gulls and some herons. (D10)
  • Generally less effective on individuals or small flocks than on large flocks. (D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11)
  • Effective at relatively low sound intensities. (D160.App3.w11)
  • Relatively slow habituation. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
  • Effectiveness may be increased by using together with pyrotechnics. (D135.3.w3)
Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Highly species-specific. (D10, D160.App3.w11)
    • For gulls, sounds of one species may also affect other gull species. (D211.AppIIIc.w12)
  • Birds may be attracted rather than driven away. (D160.App3.w11)
  • Predators and scavengers may be attracted. (D160.App3.w11)
  • Habituation may be rapid in some species (e.g. herons). (D210.4.w4)
  • May be ineffective with some species. (D210.4.w4)
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
  • Tape players or other appropriate broadcasting equipment.
  • Recorded distress, warning or alarm calls.
  • BirdGard units plus 12 volt batterries and other additional equipment as required.
Expertise level / Ease of Use --
Cost/ Availability
  • Tapes of the distress/warning/alarm calls of the appropriate species may not always be available.
  • BirdGard units may not be available and may or may not have the correct calls available. (D211.AppIIIc.w12)
Legal and Ethical Considerations
  • Birds may be attracted rather than driven away. (D160.App3.w11)
  • Predators and scavengers may be attracted. (D160.App3.w11)
Author Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
References D10, D135.3.w3, D160.App3.w11, D210.4.w4, D211.AppIIIc.w12

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