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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Lasers offer potential as a non-lethal bird repellent; captive trials using brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater, European starlings Sturnus vulgaris, rock doves Columba livia, Canada geese Branta canadensis and mallard Anas platyrhynchos, National Wildlife Research Centre, Ohio Field Station, USA

Published source details

Dolbeer R., Bernhardt G. & Blackwell B. (2002) Lasers as nonlethal avian repellents. Journal of Wildlife Management, 66, 250-258


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Scare birds from fish farms Bird Conservation

Replicated ex situ experiments in Ohio, USA (Dolbeer et al. 2002), found that µ10mW, 633nm laser did not repel brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater or European starlings Sturnus vulgaris from a perch over three trials with stationary and moving laser beams treating a randomly selected perch. Effectiveness of a 68mW, 650nm laser in dispersing starlings and rock doves Columba livia from perches, and Canada geese Branta canadensis and mallard Anas platyrhynchos from grass plots was also tested. Starlings did not disperse when targeted with the beam, doves dispersed only in the first 5 min of six 80 min treatment periods. An average, 96% of individual geese in six groups of four birds, dispersed from laser-treated plots during 20-min periods (23 replicates). Mallard dispersed (average 57% of individuals) during 20-min treatment periods, but habituated to the beam after about 20 min.