As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Use of cannons to deter birds spurs counterattack

SPENCER, Ind. (AP) — There seems to be a truce between neighbors on Timber Ridge Road, where dueling propane cannons have been silent since Monday.

Steve Dean and his wife live adjacent to Owen Valley Winery, where grapes hang heavy on the vine. About two weeks ago, owner Anthony Leaderbrand began firing a propane-fueled cannon to shoo away doves and other birds that were plucking his nearly ripe hybrid red Marechal Foch grapes.

He said the cannon fired every 10 or 15 minutes for a few hours in the morning and evening. Neighbors were upset by the loud shotgun blast sound. Dean took up a petition and got signatures from 43 neighbors who wanted the cannon blasts to stop.

He even went to a county commissioners meeting Aug. 19 to complain. County attorneyRichard Lorenz explained that a state law prohibits the commissioners from having jurisdiction over farming operations and suggested the matter would have to be settled through a civil lawsuit.

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