Here’s another tactic that utilizes a remote controlled helicopter, as reported by David Reevely for the Ottawa Citizen (with a video). Orléans-area Ottawa City Councillor, Bob Monette, is pleased with a new trial project that seems to effectively discourage what used to be as many as 140 geese congregating and pooping at Petrie Island beaches:
“Now we’re down to anywhere from 15 to 20 on a daily basis,” Monette said. The weapon the city’s deployed is a “hexcopter,” a remote-controlled chopper with rotors that can hover, soar, circle and — most importantly — scoot along just above the ground, scaring the bejesus out of dozing geese. It’s operated by contractor Steve Wambolt, a former IT worker who launched his own business after one too many layoffs.
This story was picked up by Fox news in the U.S. and the Telegraph in the U.K. – probably because the term “drone strikes” was used in some versions of the story. An eye-catching notion, no? That placid Canada is calling down drone strikes against geese.
Meanwhile NPR reports that a small town in Colorado hopes to make a point – and raise some money – with a ballot measure authorizing the sale of hunting licenses to shoot at drones. But in this case of an Ottawa beach patrol, the term “drone” is journalistic over-kill. It’s a small helicopter fitted up with lights and sound, not explosives.
Radio-controlled models have been popular for decades. The hobby requires a certain learning curve and the equipment can be expensive. Only a few years ago, flying RC helicopters required even more advanced skills and could be quite costly. These days the range and cost of what’s available is getting wider and cheaper all the time. Here’s more from a site devoted to RC helicopters.
While improvements can be pretty exciting for the flier, that also means we can expect to see more and more of these things in the sky, doing everything from harassing birds to snapping photos.
Canada geese may not be the only ones annoyed by a proliferation of gizmos that buzz, fly and “haze.”