Scary Dancers!

Thanksgiving may have just passed, but with the prominence of “scary dancers” on the rise, it may start to feel like Halloween!

Mentioned in the Cornell Chronicle and Wall Street Journal, a Web-based survey of fruit growers developed by Cornell’s Human Dimensions Research Unit and administered across California, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Washington revealed a total of close to $200 million in self-reported losses due to bird damage. Furthermore, the study also concluded that various forms of management could total up to $860 million, which led farmers to think outside of the  box when looking at ways to scare off these pesky birds. The result? Utilizing scary dancers; the ones most commonly seen at car dealerships to advertise a sale or grab a customer’s attention.

“My observation is that they worked better than any of the other things that were tested,” said Heidi Henrichs, a Cornell graduate student in the field of natural resources, who has been conducting fieldwork in New York state to assess bird damage to orchards across the country for the past two summers. “The vineyard managers and people who worked around these places said they just didn’t see birds like they normally do when these [figures] are dancing,” she added.

To read more about this “scary” phenomenon, click on the links below!


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