With crops across the country such as winter barley starting to mature, crows and other birds feeding on crops can become a problem.

Teagasc says that growers should prepare strategies to keep crows, rooks and pigeons from establishing a routine of feeding on the tillage crop.

Early intervention is the key but varying the method of control will be most effective, it says.

Six ways which can help clear birds from crops:

  • Bangers.
  • Scarecrows.
  • Strategic shooting.
  • Helium balloons.
  • Kites in the shape of a hawk.
  • Threads in corners/weak patches.

According to Teagasc, in practice, it is a combination of two or more of the above options that most farmers find effective.

Crows will become used to any one method so varying locations, times and the types of interventions is important, it advises.

Beware of bangers being a nuisance to neighbours if left going night and day; timer control switches can be fitted to all bangers to avoid this problem, it says.

Helium balloons and kites in the shape of hawk can be flown at different heights and areas of the field to scare away birds.

If using kites and balloons, Teagasc says to watch out for overhead power lines.

Initially target the control measures to the most isolated part of the field as pigeons and birds will feel more secure in these areas, it says.