infra sound bird deterrentsBy Dr. Rob Fergus

Recent claims that infrasounds  can successfully deter birds from airports and other areas require further testing and verification.  Ornithologists have known for decades that pigeons, and perhaps other birds, can detect infrasounds—low frequency sounds below 20 Hertz that are produced by severe weather, earthquakes, lightning, and explosions.  There has even been some speculation that pigeons and other birds might use these sounds—such as the very low sound of continental winds moving over mountain ranges, or waves crashing on distant seashores—as an aid in navigation.  However, there is little if any evidence so far that infrasounds would be any more likely to repel birds than audible sounds.  In fact, testing published so far has not shown infrasound to be effective at deterring nuisance birds.  So if there is new evidence to the contrary, that would be noteworthy.  However, before widespread adoption of infrasound as an effective sound bird deterrent, we need to know a lot more about:

a) which birds are able to detect infrasounds

b) how they respond to infrasounds in their environment

c) how various birds respond to infrasounds generated in attempts to deter them from situations involving human/bird conflict