Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

August 2003


Blackbirds (Icteridae) create human health and safety concerns when roosting in large numbers near airports or other urban areas. Therefore, there is considerable demand for effective nonlethal techniques to deter these birds. We tested the effectiveness of rotating mirrors (Peaceful Pyramid®) to keep blackbirds away from decoy traps. Mirrors were in place on traps for 5 consecutive days with control traps having similar a device in place but without mirrors. The total number of birds captured in traps with clear mirrors and control traps did not (P = 0.62) differ. When red mirrors were used, the total number of birds captured was lower (P = 0.01) in treated than control traps. Similar (P ≥ 0.42) numbers of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) were caught in control or traps treated with either clear or red mirrors. Fewer (P = 0.01) common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) were captured in traps with red mirrors as compared to control traps. Under the test criteria (i.e., food and flock attractants), Peaceful Pyramids®did not reduce the number of cowbirds captured in decoy traps. However, fewer birds, specifically common grackles, were captured at traps with red mirrors; we conclude that there was at least a species-specific initial reaction to red mirrors