Contact Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control LLC


Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control LLC
5600 N Flagler Dr. #705
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Ph: 1.833.833.4295

5600 N Flagler Dr. Suite #705, West Palm Beach FL 33407 1-833-833-4295

Lasers in Bird Control

How are lasers used to scare birds?

Taking into account bird biology and socialization, the laser can be an effective scaring tool. First, when a bird sees something it does not recognize or understand, its first instinct is to be frightened and fly away. When the bright green laser spot is shone onto the ground in front of a bird, the bird will be frightened and take flight, as there is nothing in nature that looks even remotely similar to the laser. The light does not need to be shone into the bird's eyes (in fact, this can be harmful), we simply move it around the bird’s feet.

Second, when flocks of birds settle into an area to eat or rest, there are designated sentry birds whose job is to look out for danger and alert the rest of the flock when necessary. While most of the birds will either have their heads down grazing or lying down, there will be a few who are standing with their heads held high: these are the lookouts. You only need to scare one of these lookouts with the laser; once they panic, the rest of the flock will follow suit, and all the birds will take off.


What lasers can be used to scare birds?

In the U.S., Hawkeye uses class IIIB green lasers classified under the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard. They are not the same as keychain or cat laser pointers. These lasers emit intense radiation and have the potential to cause permanent eye damage. A 3B laser operator is required to go through professional laser safety training in Canada, and, while not mandatory, it is strongly recommended in the US as well. In Canada, the possession of these lasers on public property within city limits or within 10 km of an airport is prohibited unless it is for a legitimate purpose, such as work or education. Additionally, it is a federal offence in both Canada and the US to aim a laser at any aircraft. Because such lasers are so heavily regulated, only trained professionals should operate them. Hawkeye’s technicians have undergone the necessary and recommended laser safety training.


Do I need a permit to scare birds with lasers?

Rules and regulations regarding what is allowed when scaring or hazing birds are dependent on each species of bird and their status. The use of lasers is subject to federal and state laws in the U.S. The birds most commonly scared with lasers are Canada geese and colonial waterbirds (gulls, terns, and herons).


When can lasers be used?

In terms of "time of day," a strong enough laser can be effective at any time and in most light conditions—however, the brighter the environment, the less of an impact it will have on the birds.

In terms of "time of year," lasers, along with most other scaring and hazing techniques, are most effective when the birds have first settled into an area and before they have established a routine, usually in the early spring. The longer the birds are on a particular property, the harder it will be to convince them to leave. Scaring birds with lasers becomes almost completely ineffective during nesting season. When flocks of birds have nests with eggs or dependent young, they will not abandon them and therefore will always return. Depending on the species of bird, nesting and rearing generally occur between March and July.

Additionally, geese, ducks, and swans cannot be scared away during their moulting season. Unlike most other birds, these birds lose and regrow all their flight feathers at once, rendering them flightless for a couple of weeks to months. This usually occurs during their breeding season. Because they cannot fly, these birds cannot displace themselves when scared, so a laser will not scare them off your property.


Advantages of lasers

  • Lasers create an immediate and drastic effect on the birds
  • They are a discreet and non-disruptive method of bird control; there are no loud sounds or large operations
  • They are a humane method: the birds are not harmed, and there is no damage to the environment
  • They can be used at a distance of several hundred meters, meaning birds loafing in places that are difficult or dangerous to reach can be scared 
  • Powerful lasers can be used both during the night and day

Disadvantages of lasers

  • The immediate effect on the birds is very short-lived; unless continually scared off, the birds will return shortly
  • Though they initially panic, birds become accustomed to the laser over time and will not have the same fear reaction
  • The brighter the environment, the more negligible effect the laser will have; it is most effective in lower light conditions
  • High powered lasers are expensive
  • The operator must be skilled and trained to handle the laser correctly and safely
  • High powered lasers and their use are regulated by the government, which complicates their acquisition and use
  • They cannot be used on or near water, as the beam that refracts off the water's surface is unpredictable and can be dangerous