Bird Pest Management in Sunflower

Bird Pest Management Bird Pest Parakeet

Bird Pest Management

  • Since ages, man has developed various devices to scare or repel birds from his cultivated crops.
  • Traditional methods like erection of scare crows, noise making devices like crackers and carbide guns tying polythene bags are quiet old.
  • But these methods are not reputed to bring permanent relief for the farmer and, therefore, a safe and economic method must be sought to reduce the damage.
  • In recent times use of reflective ribbon or bird scaring ribbon has been found effective.
  • The reflective ribbon is popularly called as bird scaring tape method evolved by the scientists of All India Coordinated Research Project on Agricultural Ornithology is found to be more effective and easily adaptable by the farmers in the field for scaring the birds, particularly against rose-ring parakeet in sunflower.
  • It is a polypro pelene metallic shining ribbon with red/yellow on one side and silver white on the other side and is prepared by cutting into strips of 10 to 15 meters length and 15mm (1.5cm) width.
  • About 25-30 strips are fixed in an acre with the help of bamboo poles keeping just one foot above the crop level in north and south directions and slightly twisted to reflect the sunlight throughout the day.
  • The inter distance between the two ribbons should be about 4 to 8 meters (depending upon the crop size and pest population).
  • During sun shine the brightness and humming noise produced in the wind scares the bird from the field.

Other methods of control

  • Pruning of perching and breeding places, in addition to the manual destruction of nests closing the entrance of the nests will reduce their population.
  • Planting of flowering/fruit bearing trees or shade trees could reduce losses on nearby crops once the parakeets become accustomed to being able to feed on these trees without being disturbed.
  • Large acreage cultivation of sunflower crop reduces the bird damage.
  • Spraying of neem kernel powder solution (10 gms per litre of water) after seed setting stage repels the birds.
  • Pre-recorded distress calls of parakeets (Bio-acoustic method) are amplified with the help of speaker will drive away the parrots from the field.
  • For complete protection of the crop from bird damage one method may not be fool proof; as such, it would be more appropriate to take up Integrated Bird Pest Management method i.e., combination of two or three methods for effective pest management so that the crop is completely protected during its vulnerable stages.


Bird Pest Parakeet

  • Sunflower is an important edible oilseed crop in India.
  • With the advance of production technology of high yielding varieties, sound seed production and remunerative price the sunflower crop cultivation has spread to many states in India.
  • Like any other crop the sunflower crop is also subjected to attack by a number of bird pests.
  • The rose-ringed parakeets are the major bird pests of sunflower crop causing 10 to 40% damage and in isolated areas it may be more than 90%.
  • The parakeets are distributed throughout the country and among the 12 species of parakeets the rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is the most destructive bird pest in agriculture and horticulture.
  • They are commonly found in flocks in gardens, orchards, cultivated areas and often near human habitations.
  • They invade the crop in flocks and inflict heavy damage and known to waste much more than what they eat.
  • The bird damage starts from milky stage onwards and continues till harvest.
  • A single parakeet consumes on an average about 15.0 g of sunflower seed a day under captivity, giving an idea of the magnitude of loss to the crop.
  • The damage to sunflower crop in isolated areas ranges from 10 to 40% and in large acreage 3 to 5%.
  • The young nestlings unlike the other birds which are fed on insect food, also feed exclusively on a vegetarian diet, comprising cereals, pulses and oilseeds.
  • Hence, the bird has no beneficial role at any stage of its life cycle.


Andhra pradesh