Sometimes you need a drone to do a specific job. Whether or not that is lifting and carrying stuff, taking photographs, surveying a certain area, or scaring birds there are drone add-ons and drones which can do almost anything. But the problem is with so much choice and so many options on the market right now it can be hard to decipher which one is the best for your use case. In this article, we are going to go over everything you need to know about the best drone to scare birds as well as a buyers guide so that you can make the best choice for you.

If you are in a hurry I highly recommend that you take a look at the pro Hawk UAV bird control drone. It’s an excellent drone which has been purposely designed and manufactured for scaring birds.

In a hurry? Best drone is:

PROHAWK® UAV BIRD CONTROL DRONE (https://bird-x.com/bird-products/drones/prohawk)

The PROHAWK UAV bird control drone is one of the first drones of his class made specifically for bird control. It has a range of technology including a patented sonic bird repeller. The manufacturers say that is one of the most effective ways to repower unwanted birds which also doesn’t cause any harm to them or the environment.

  • Fully autonomous
  • Made in the USA
  • Carbon fibre construction

Drones in this list:

DroneLink
PROHAWK® UAV BIRD CONTROL DRONEWebsite
AeroDrone: Avian ScoutWebsite
Bird Scarer on a DJI Matrice 600Website
DJI phantom with siren payloadWebsite

Drone specs and reviews

PROHAWK® UAV BIRD CONTROL DRONE (https://bird-x.com/bird-products/drones/prohawk)

The PROHAWK UAV bird control drone is one of the first drones of his class made specifically for bird control. It has a range of technology including a patented sonic bird repeller. The manufacturers say that is one of the most effective ways to repower unwanted birds which also doesn’t cause any harm to them or the environment.

This drone uses its physical presence with a sonic bird noise which has been proven to keep birds away. Drones are typically loud and scary for birds and this drone takes it to the next level with naturally recorded predator cries and distress calls which mimic a noisy, physical and terrifying intrusion for the birds that you want to get rid of.

One of the things I like about this drone is that it is a fully autonomous flight drone. This means that you can focus on looking after your crops or getting on with your other tasks while the drone does the bird scaring for you. It will launch, patrol, and land on its own. You are able to set different waypoints so that the drone will go through a set course each time it takes off.

  • Fully autonomous
  • Made in the USA
  • Carbon fibre construction

 

AeroDrone: Avian Scout (https://baskaerospace.com.au/aerodrone/avian-scout/)

This drone has been proven to work on a number of different trials on farms with initial customers. The customers have said that they are see Love the new system and after extensive testing this drone is now available for consumers. This drone was built and designed in Australia where there is a huge issue with parrots and other birds completely destroying crops. This drone has been specifically designed to protect your crops against crows, cockatoos, starlings, Rosellas, parrots and more types of persistent problem birds.

The drone also comes with a simple to use flight planning software which allows you to generate random flight path’s that protects against the birds getting used to the drone being in a certain spot at a certain time. This is a common problem with any technology that is trying to deter birds because words can easily become habituated to the new environment and the bird prevention is no longer effective.

Interestingly this company have also developed what they term a screecher. They’ve taken some of the most proven sonic bird deterrent technologies and made them even more effective. The screecher creates a range of different sounds that work together to ensure that birds are frightened away from the crop and away from the property. It has a volume dial, power switch, power jack (for charging) and a powerful speaker.

  • 25 minute flight time
  • Operates in 30 knot winds and light rain
  • Flight planning software
  • Comes with a screecher (audio box)

Bird Scarer on a DJI Matrice 600 (https://www.riseabove.com.au/dji-matrice-600-bird-control-drone-system-the-scar)

This system is known as the scarecrow! This is from a company called rise above which is based in Sydney Australia. The DJI Matrice is a powerful drone that has been used to capture some stunning footage for the cinema. By combining the stability and portability of this drone with a drone scaring system this becomes the perfect way to scare away a range of different birds.

This drone is designed with portability and therefore the frame folds down to a very manageable size. The quick release features of the arms make it easy to unfold the drone within a matter of minutes from unpacking to flying.

The reason this drone is so good for bird scaring is that it can carry up to 5 ½ kg. This means that it is able to carry the bird screeching and sonic audio equipment without any issues and is able to retain a long flight time. You can also carry a range of different payloads so you can swap between the Bird scarer and a camera within a couple of minutes. This makes this not only a versatile drone also one that is able to perform multiple functions in a commercial environment.

The bird control system that comes with this drone is the bird guard bird control system which has two speakers and has been tested to be highly effective in the control of numerous types of birds that are a pest to crops and property.

This drone comes with all of the advanced software and AI integration is that everyone has come to love about DJI drones and therefore it is a fantastic use of a really strong and trustworthy drone! If you have the budget to spend on something like this, I recommend that you get in contact with the people at rise above to discuss your requirements.

  • 60 kph
  • 38-minute flight time
  • 3.5 km range
  • Optional camera
  • Easy to fold and carry
  • Waypoint control

DJI phantom with siren payload (https://mac-ops.co.nz/product/dji-phantom-4-pro-high-decibel-siren-ideal-farm-moving-stock-bird-scaring/)

This is another combination of an incredible DJI drone with a siren payload. There is no point in reinventing the wheel if they drone exists that is powerful enough to carry a payload and comes with the years of innovation and expertise of a strong and popular drone company. Pairing up the DJI phantom pro with a siren is a perfect way to use good technology together.

The siren that comes with this drone can be heard from about 300 m away at a 75 m altitude and is roughly 120 to 140 dB in volume. That is more than enough to scare away the majority of birds.

The DJI phantom drone is fantastic for a range of reasons and you can even retain the camera whilst using this drone as a Bird scarer. Like the drone above, this drone comes with all of the fancy software and artificial intelligence flying tools which make DJI a fantastic option for many people. Also, we can consider the fact that the DJI phantom pro is also a very popular and in demand drone. This means that should the drone need to be upgraded and replaced you can easily sell the drone to a large consumer market which will label you to get back a good amount of the purchase price.

  • 120 – 140 decibels
  • 300m range
  • 5 directions of obstacle sensing

Siren only (https://droneshopperth.com.au/product/siren-p4-p4p-p4p/)

If you already have your own drone is no reason why you cannot use it occasionally for scaring birds. There are a range of different siren is available on the market and you can attach them to a range of drones. You have to make sure that if you are buying a siren that it is able to fit on your drone as some third-party accessories have to be fitted to very specific drones. This is because the drone can easily be thrown off in terms of its balance.

Look for a drone siren with a very high dB volume so that it can be as effective as possible scaring away birds. You may actually not need to use any extra noisemaking equipment full-scale and away birds because the drones do make a fair bit of noise themselves and simply flying them near pest species will cause the birds to fly away.

Using the drones predator like appearance will allow you to be able to scare birds very easily. As I’ve mentioned above, you have to make sure that they don’t become habitualised to the sight of your drone and therefore flying it in random patterns or changing the sounds it makes can be a very useful way to ensure that birds are continually scared and do not become used to its presence.

There are the best drones that are currently on the market for scaring birds and now we should take a look at the things you need to pay close attention to if you want to buy a drone to scare away birds.

Buyers guide for a drone to scare birds

There are many types of drones on the market and we have to make sure that we understand what we want the drone to do and we choose a drone that has very specific features and functions to fill that purpose.

In this instance, we want to scare away birds so we should really get to grips with what actually scares birds and how you can best use that to your advantage.

What scares birds?

I have taken a look at all of the science of what scares birds and how drones can protect against birds eating crops.

A study in 2019 looked at the psychological warfare in vineyards. Specifically they were looking at the act of using drones to control bird damage to wine grapes by purposely investigating bird psychology. They looked at the current methods of scaring birds away and controlling bird damage and they found that most effective methods such as netting and hiring a human scarer rely on intensive manual labour as well as the netting is very easy to rip and one rep means that it becomes instantly useless. They also looked at cheaper methods, such as using predator models, and found that they were effective for no more than two weeks before the birds got used to them and no longer cared that they were in the area. Therefore, this study was looking at using drones and a novel system which incorporates their knowledge of bird psychology for efficient bird damage control.

The drone was equipped with a loudspeaker which was broadcasting distress because of particular bird species as well as a taxidermy to crow which was installed under the drone which appeared as a captured prey. They decided that this would be the best approach because it engages the birds well-established abilities to recognise and avoid predators and this provides the benefits of a long-term fear response towards the drone which is not currently available with the systems such as netting and sirens.

They found that the drone can offer deterrent to large pest birds such as ravens and cockatoos in about a 50 m radius. The drone can also effectively deter small pest bird for brief periods of times after they have been exposed to the drone. The drone is able to protect vineyards smaller than 25 factors and the scientists conclude that you would need multiple drones to protect a large Vineyard effectively.

You can read all of the paper at this link – click here. It’s a very easy read if you are in this area and it is interesting to know what sort of research is going on to protect Vineyard crops and other agricultural areas.

This paper is very much focused on the psychology of birds and there are a few other things that your drone needs to incorporate to be a really effective bird scaring device.

What it looks like

The first thing that you need to consider is what the drone looks like. Birds have the ability to identify predators as they are a prey animal. Many drones look like predators as part of the design because of the quadcopter and multirotor designs.

Choosing a dark drone is going to give you a better visual appearance to a predator than using other types of drone colours. In the study, mentioned above, they even went as far as hanging a taxidermy to crow from underneath the drone to make it look like the drone was a predator that had caught some prey.

The bigger the drone the more visually intimidating the drone will be and so a drone like the DJI Matrice will be visible from a larger distance than something small like the DJI Mavic air. Birds have pretty good eyesight and so the visual appearance of the drone will be a very important factor in choosing a drone that is effective for controlling birds.

To extend the area over which a drone is effective as a bird deterrent you can then utilise noise and a screecher or sonic device.

Noise

Noise is a very useful and effective deterrent for birds. As long as you choose the right noises. A study which was published in 2003, has a look at all of the different ways that we can deter birds. This includes things like gas cannons, pyrotechnics, bio acoustic and ultrasonic high intensity sound, lasers, kites, colourants, and a whole range of chemical, exclusion, and habitat modification techniques.

They find that the types of noises that are most effective are distress calls, pyrotechnics, and shooting. They are more effective than sonic devices and other types of noise generation. There was a very small sample size so the techniques that they highlight have to be taken with a grain of salt.

They also conclude that it is very easy for the birds to get used to the noises and artificial noises are either ineffective or unsafe for the people on the ground.

Imitation noises (predator and distress calls)

Imitation noises such as predator and distress calls are some of the best noises that you can play to deter birds. This is presumably because the birds have evolved to be wary of predator noises as well as any distress of their flock in the immediate area.

A lot of the drones that I mention above use imitation noises to scare birds and they have been found most effective if they have been recorded in a natural environment. The artificial sounds that have been created lacked the new artists or identification artefacts for birds.

Sonic noises

Sonic noises are less effective than imitation noises. Even though they are irritating artificial noises are too hard for birds to recognise and do not create a large amount of deterrent action.

Sonic noises can also be a noise nuisance and can be too loud or too intrusive for people in the area. Therefore looking for a drone that does incorporate natural bird noises will be your best opportunity of scaring birds effectively. The noise in combination with the size of the drone is the perfect combination for extending the effective radius of scaring as you are flying.

The great thing about drones is that you can also fly towards the persistent birds if you need to get them out of the area quickly.

Battery time

Battery time is a very important part of any drone flight. The battery is typically a lithium polymer composite and it dictates how much time you can spend in the air. Buying a drone that can fly for at least half an hour should be part of your buying guidelines. If the drone is carrying a speaker or other payloads that can seriously decrease the amount of time that the drone can fly however there are many drones which have got a long flight time making them suitable for scaring birds.

If you want to go for a cheaper drone you can extend the flight time by buying more batteries which will mean that you will need to return to the home base and swap out batteries more often. This is necessarily a bad thing but just part of the user experience and can get frustrating if you are running down batteries quickly in high winds.

Automomy

Many of the drones that have been mentioned above will also take off, auto fly, and auto land after the software has been programmed. Depending on where you live you may need to always be in active control of your drone and many countries only allow one person to fly one drone at a time.

Setting up waypoints on software and having the drone to the majority of the flying for you means that you don’t have to be as good as a pilot and also you can get on with other activities while the drone is away flying and scaring the birds.

Not all drones are completely autonomous and some of them still require active monitoring of the flight path and systems so make sure that you know what the drone is able to do on its own and how much manual input you need to give the drone as it is flying.

Full cages for the propellers

As you are scaring birds, there is a high potential for the drone and the drone propellers to come into contact with animals or something else in the immediate environment. I recommend that you try to find a drone with full cages for the propellers which means that even if there are some bird attacks or if you accidentally come into contact with a bird.

For a full run down on drones again attacked by birds here is my YouTube video where you can discover the best ways and tricks to stop it from happening to you.

Front facing camera

Having a drone which also has a front facing camera enables you to see what the drone is doing and gives you a first-person view of what is going on. A forward facing camera is invaluable if your drone gets lost and you need to return to home.

It also gives you an extra reference points of the don’t have to rely on line of sight to always steer and move the drone over the crops. It can be very challenging to identify where the drone is at any given time and sometimes the GPS signal is not as strong or as accurate as the think it is. Having the extra failsafe of a front facing camera will mean that you are able to return to home safely and also captures some awesome shots of your drone flight.

Sensors

Lastly, you should consider all of the senses that your drone comes with. Sensors are a way of protecting the drone as it is flying. Sensors allow the advanced obstacle avoidance software to keep the drone safe and keep it out of harms way.

If you want a drone which is autonomous or is easier to fly you should consider getting a drone with a load of sensors and making your life as a drone pilot and operator easier.

Conclusion

So, there are all of the things that you need to consider about the best drones for scaring birds. You should consider exactly what you want your drone to do and ask yourself if you want any extra features such as the ability to record the flight.

This is an area of drone technology that is constantly improving and as the batteries and autonomous software features become better we can expect more drones doing a greater variety of jobs autonomously.