Friday, January 25, 2008

Free Bird Infestation Evaluation Tool Online has been nice enough to offer an in-site form that anyone can fill out regarding the nature of their bird troubles (despite the name, this company deals with all sorts of birds not just geese). Once submitted, the people at Got Geese, Inc. will get back to you with the solutions that they think are best for your issue. It couldn't be easier (or cheaper...) so don't wait! If you think you have a bird problem brewing, or remember last spring when tons of birds arrive en mass, get help now before the birds get too comfortable on your property.

Click here for a free evaluation

The Queens Courier says, "Pigeon Poop is Dangerous"

Pigeon Poop is Dangerous

Here's an article by Bird-X, Inc.'s media correspondent, Elana Moriarty, explaining the dangers of bird droppings. Maybe someone should forward it to the poor reporter in the video posted below.

Some important highlights:

the CDC published the following safeguards for dealing with histoplasmosis:

“Areas known or suspected of being contaminated by H. capsulatum, such as bird roosts, attics, or even entire buildings that contain accumulations of bat or bird manure, should be posted with signs warning of the health risk. … In some situations, a fence may be needed to be built around a property or locks put on attic doors to prevent unsuspecting or unprotected individuals from entering.”

Clearly the CDC recognizes the dangers of bird droppings but I think everyone has seen buildings with accumulations of bird mess. I don't think very many people are aware of the risk of bird waste or the recommendations from the CDC.

Also, another thing to consider is that compacted bird waste might not be visible but it can still be dangerous in the event that it is located in air ducts or by an HVAC system. As people breathe in fecal particles the risk for transmitting respiratory diseases increases.

Video Clip: Not for People with Weak Stomachs

Oh my gosh this video is so gross! I hope all viewers learn to NOT react to a bird pooping on their shoulder by looking up with their mouths wide open...

Remember kids: bird poop contains E. coli, salmonella, and a slew of harmful fungal diseases that can cause permanent damage to your lungs and other organs!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why Some Visual Deterrants Work While Others do Not

Many people have experience with visual deterrents as a bird control measure. Unfortunately, after individuals have tried the fake plastic owls or rubber snakes they lose hope in visual deterrents in general. By taking this outlook, people are cheating themselves of some very good yet inexpensive bird control options.

The first factor that can change how birds react to a visual scare device is movement. Of course a plastic owl that does not move will quickly turn to a perch for birds. Likewise, rubber snakes will quickly lose effectiveness. I fear that the term "bird brain" has led us people to greatly underestimate our feathered friends. Like you, they tend to realize that stationary objects pose no threat. So, instead of using these items, look for scares that utilize motion. Many devices are meant to blow in the wind and take on some sort of lifelike qualities. For instance this Prowler Owl has wings that actually flap and this coyote decoy has a furry tail that blows in the wind.

Another option is the use of holographic material. There are bird control balloons with specially designed holographic eyes (see: Terror-Eyes) that follow birds as they fly by, replicating the act of predatory tracking and setting off the birds' instincts to flee. Simple holographic tape (See: Irri-tape) can also be used without an explicit predator-like design. By placing the tape in a location, the birds see the flashing refraction of light and cannot make sense of it thereby making them uneasy and apt to leave for some place safer.

If you are attempting to bird proof an indoor area, take advantage of the reflective quality of the walls and consider using a strobe light.

In addition to movement of the unit, you must also change the location of the device from time to time to keep birds on their toes...or better yet, on wing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

World Health Organization Publishes Findings that Point to Indirect Spread of H5N1

Read the full article here

Reuters just published an article outlining a recent study on H5N1 (the avian flu) by the World Health Organization. Researchers noted that, "In one quarter or more of patients with influenza A (H5N1) virus infection, the source of exposure is unclear, and environment-to-human transmission remains possible...For some patients, the only identified risk factor was visiting a live-poultry market. It could be that small particles of virus-contaminated fluid stuck to surfaces, they said. Or perhaps fertilizer made from infected bird feces somehow carried the virus into people's noses or mouths."

This has implications beyond the realm of domestic birds. This means that wild migratory birds can spread bird flu through their droppings. The research points to the idea that H5N1 is spread in the same way as histoplasmosis or cryptococcosis (particle of fecal matter can be inhaled and introduced to the body through mucus membranes).

Hopefully this discovery will spur a more proactive approach to containing the spread of bird flu. I have noticed that whenever an outbreak of bird flu appears, people react with a protective zone which limits interactions with birds. Wouldn't it be more helpful to utilize exclusion technologies before the outbreak in order to prevent it from happening? Individuals who work with domestic birds should take this information to heart and seriously consider a strategy for keeping their birds safe from bird flu. This might also be the time for the general public to consider that in the past, our most devastating influenza outbreaks affected people with the strongest immune systems by using the mechanisms of the immune system to actually spread the virus and cause permanent damage to tissues.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Coalition to Prevent the Destruction of Canada Geese

Here is a great website to check out. There's a lot of information here about how to deal with Canada Geese in cruelty-free ways. They explain a lot of the political reasons that lethal methods are touted as a solution for expanding bird populations. This was a real eye-opener to me. I always assumed that lethal methods were proposed because authorities did not know that other options existed but it turns out that a good deal of deliberate misinformation also plays a role. I learned a lot while surfing the site. Take a look around:

The Coalition's Homepage

Suggestions for dealing with nuisance geese

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hunt Geese if That's Your Thing, but don't Kid Yourself

Just a little aside because I read a lot of user comments on articles about goose control strategy that advocate goose hunts. I also read articles about towns starting new goose hunting seasons in order to lower populations. I mean, if you enjoy hunting, just be honest about why you do it. It has nothing to do with lowering goose populations. Frankly, hunters are lucky if they take home one goose. Everyone knows that when you shoot toward a flock, the birds will scatter from the noise. This makes it pretty difficult to make a real difference on the population.

Think of this situation as a fire drill for geese. They're not leaving for good. They know there's a potential danger so they are sitting it out momentarily, waiting to return when it is safe. I wrote a little blurb earlier about why lethal methods don't work and all of that reasoning applies here. I just thought I'd add something about goose hunting in general because it is a common topic in the papers these days.