During every berry-picking season in the Pacific Northwest, blueberry and raspberry growers fight to prevent birds from gobbling up the crop before harvest. This year, some farmers are trying something new to scare away the thieving birds: lasers.
Justin Meduri manages a large blueberry farm and cherry orchard outside Jefferson, Ore. Birds like both fruits.
"Flocks can move in of up to 2,000 to 3,000 starling birds," Meduri says. The starlings gorge themselves and knock down berries right as the crop is ready to pick. When he didn't take countermeasures, Meduri says the damage was "Inconceivable, huge. We had almost a 20 to 25 percent, maybe even 30 percent damage loss."