Innovative Spirit

These High-Tech Scarecrows Will Keep Pesky Creatures Away

From robots to digitized recordings, farmers are upping their game when it comes to protecting their crops

The remote-controlled 3-D-printed raptor known as RoBird, built by a Dutch firm, swoops and soars. (Vincent Jannink/AFP/Getty Images)
smithsonian.com

Modern scarecrows are a drastic departure from the straw buddy from The Wizard of Oz. An upscale array of intimidating devices deters more than just, well, crows. Cats, raccoons and other tricky creatures may also be targeted.

Some 21st-century scarecrows do their work by growling like thunder. Others prowl the skies, rumble, spew water or just look and act mean. Here are seven of the most remarkable techno-scarecrows.

Ready to rumble

None
(Amazon)

Many birds tie the sound of shotgun blasts to imminent danger. A sonic bird cannon craftily plays on that fear. Even local birds that have never tangled with hunters scatter, spooked by the gizmo’s startling boom. Mainly produced by a brand called Zon, the “bird banger” is powered by propane, so the deterrent is less slick than others but brutally effective.

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