VERNON, B.C. — You usually see them on the side of the road, wiggly arms and tube body bouncing around trying to attract people to a sale.
But a B.C. farmer has found a great use for the air dancers (or air rangers), which have protected his crop from pesky birds.
Peter’s U-Pick Orchard has rescued a bumper crop in large part thanks to the fun inflatables he used to protect his cherries.
“They are working great compared to previous years where we would have flocks of birds on the early cherries now we just barely see a Jay or two in there compared to flocks of 20-40 at a time,” said owner Peter Sidorczuk.
“I got the idea from our neighbour, the Krugers, they tried one last year in their grapes and she said it is working. So I did a bit of research online and bought three of them to try this year and am impressed.
“It is a great idea.”
See related: Cherry grower hopes to avoid helicopter use
The BX orchard, which opened for the season Saturday, also used a device called bird guard to protect the early cherries. Designed in Australia, the bird guard randomly emits bird distress calls.
Combined with the air dancers, there’s plenty of cherries available at the farm this year. Plus the devices have helped keep pesky birds from the Peter’s peaches and apricots.
Peter’s U-Pick, on Rimer Road, is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.