Demons, I Cast Thee Out!

By   December 19, 2015
Biologist Tim Shields does his magic

Biologist Tim Shields does his scientific magic

Ravens don’t like drones. This could be a very good thing for the cause of conservation. With the blessing of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hardshell Labs is testing a wide variety of tools for bird repulsion and this highly maneuverable drone, a Hiro model from the folks at Game of Drones, is one of them. The scene: American Organics’ regional composting facility, a 10-acre buffet table for ravens. Having flown the drone up into the air above the rows of cooking compost, and having watched 50+ ravens instantly flee the chow line and take to nearby trees, I approach them holding the drone high. I was curious to see if the visual impression made in one flight might cause the ravens to flee the object if exposed to it a different way. The results were inconclusive. Some of the birds did quit their perches but I do love the Exorcist echoes of this shot by photographer Tom Fowlkes. “Demons, I cast thee out!”