As I’ve switched over to paid corporate birding (doing bird surveys for companies that want to put up wind farms or transmission lines), I’ve been fascinated by the world that has been opened to me and differences from the bird feeding world. Whenever I get my hands on a trade publication for any industry, my favorite thing to do is see what is being advertised in the magazine. So, I was excited to go through my new job’s trade publications. I get one called The Wildlife Professional for the Wildlife Society, that’s put out for wildlife technicians who work in the field. Here are some ads:

This is from Advanced Telemetry Systems and it advertises how you can tag wildlife like coyotes and then check on your animals from anywhere…even from your beach vacation…and the magical wireless internet that is available there for your laptop. I suppose it is possible the lady in the above photo is doing field work from the beach, perhaps she is a plover warden? Mostly my field work office view is something like this:

The corn has gotten so high at one of my survey points that I have to sit on top of my company SUV to see above it. Not quite as glamorous as an ocean view, but I’d rather be here than confined to my official indoor office cubicle.

And when it comes to field work, you can’t beat some of my office mates, like this above Indigo Bunting who serenades me when I’m changing data cards and batteries in bat detectors. So, not the beach, but still colorful views.

But back to the ads. Here’s a fun one from a company called Advanced Weapon’s Technology. This company has a whole host of products for law enforcement, but the above Super Talon can be a state of the art way to detain suspects who resist arrest…or way to humanely detain pigeons…I’m sure this works well for netting larger birds like ducks and geese and is certainly a humane method for rounding up a wayward swan as opposed to shooting it but I find it fascinating that a company has such a broad market for their weapons technology. And can I point out how weird it is to see the word “weapon” applied to wildlife sciences. And the weapons don’t stop there.  Here are some modified guns to get birds to move on:

Let’s say that you don’t want to capture wildlife but encourage it to go elsewhere. For that you want to go to Reed Joseph, a “a wholly American, veteran-owned company, established in 1953 with 55 years of bird & wildlife dispersal!” Some of these are creative, like the inflatable man that flails around to scare birds away. But they actually sell “laser guns” or the Desman Laser which for $7700 will startle birds with the laser beam’s strong contrast with the ambient light. Wow, when I think of all the years I spent working in a wild birds store that was meant to help people attract birds, I was in the wrong industry.  Clearly the money is in dissuading birds.  I never sold a feeder for $7000.

Written by Birdchick
Sharon Stiteler was given a Peterson Field Guide to Birds when she was seven years old and snapped. She loves birds - it’s just the way she’s wired. Since 1997, she has made it her goal to get paid to go birding. She runs the popular birding blog,, and has been in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on NBC Nightly News as well as making regular appearances on Twin Cities’ TV and radio stations. She’s a professional speaker and story-teller and her writing can be found in several publications including WildBird Magazine, Outdoor News, and Birding Business. She wrote the books 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know, Disapproving Rabbits and City Birds/Country Birds. When she’s not digiscoping, tweeting or banding birds, she’s a part-time park ranger and award-winning beekeeper.