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Waterfowl waste-pond warnings

Place one kind of large, visible object in waste ponds so that waterfowl know not to swim there
  (+7)
(+7)
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Many industries produce waste that is stored in liquid form in very largew waste ponds. Numerous times in the past, waterfowl have landed in said ponds, thinking they were normal lakes or ponds, and subseqeuntly died. This has happened in a spent copper mine in Montana, where the dissolved salts killed the birds, and in tar sand processing areas, where the oil killed the birds, just to give a few examples.

Now, waterfowl aren't stupid, they just don't know that these ponds are dangerous. Their little birdy minds see water and assume it's just a pond.

But if every poisonous pond had some sort of large landmark on it, the birds would know not to land there, once they saw a few times what happened to their friends. Perhaps we would have to condition them deliberately, by placing said landmarks in a few normal ponds around the country, and then shooting paintballs at the birds when they land, so they make a negative association. I suppose the government could do this. But the point is eventually they would learn not to land in ponds with those landmarks.

As for the landmark, I guess it could just be a large floating tarp-like thing of a certain color. I gues they would have to study the birds to find out what would be most recognizable in their birdy brains.

EdwinBakery, Sep 13 2010

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       Hmmm - possible. But would it not be more effective to use some other deterrent? Like a plastic model of a person with a gun*, or a silhouette of a bird of prey, or something else that waterfowl are already afeared of?   

       *ie, a plastic model of a [person with a gun], not a [plastic model of a person] with a gun.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2010
  

       An alligator, maybe? As [MaxB] says, something realistic that birds already dislike. Or a model thereof.   

       I'd like a motorboat cruising around in the pond. A real boat, of size and speed proportional to the pond, electric or petrol powered, with GPS auto-nav and a remote over-ride or whatever works.   

       Keeping it powered shouldn't be that hard, but keeping it from corroding should remind the pond owners of just what noxious shit they have stewing away there.   

       A hovercraft if you don't want to churn up the stuff.   

       A hovercraft piloted by a giant alligator!
baconbrain, Sep 13 2010
  

       Well, [bb] just had to solve the problem right away! + for the intentions and subsequent imagery.
daseva, Sep 13 2010
  

       1: The thing should be large enough to be seen from height. 2: The thing should be scary to birds.   

       One option is mylar ribbons as is done for fields. The other, since there is more open space to work with an less concern about shade is a 2000x life size snapping turtle head thrashing a waterfowl back and forth, back and forth. At least during the day.   

       Or maybe fire? Or both! Giant flaming lava turtles are the stuff of duck nightmares. Plus it would help tourism.
bungston, Sep 13 2010
  

       well, if it's a tar sands tailings pond, the boat would probably corrode less, as the oil would form a protective coating from the atmosphere   

       and these things actually tend not to be that noxious, the problem is the birds get a huge exposure to them once they start swimming and drinking from the ponds, which I imagine they do rather quickly after landing   

       the worst stuff is probably from the paper industry or livestock waste lagoons
EdwinBakery, Sep 13 2010
  

       My daughter likes the thought of giant robot snapping turtles with solar panels on their shells.
baconbrain, Sep 14 2010
  

       How about decoys of dead birds?
Would birds still land in these ponds if carcasses of their cousins are floating in them?
  

       //Plus it would help tourism.   

       "SEE FLAMING LAVA TURTLES THRASHING LIFELIKE DEAD WATERFOWL DECOYS!!! GIANT ALLIGATORS IN HOVERCRAFT!!! PLASTIC MODELS OF [PERSONS WITH GUNS]!!! NOW IN 3D!!!"   

       +
Boomershine, Sep 14 2010
  

       Tourists would certainly frighten me away.
baconbrain, Sep 14 2010
  

       mechanical sharks.
FlyingToaster, Sep 14 2010
  

       With or without lasers that frick?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010
  

       given the proximity of potentially explosive chemicals, I vote "frick".
FlyingToaster, Sep 14 2010
  

       Spaniels on rafts.
8th of 7, Sep 14 2010
  

       I tot I taw a puddy tat!
Grogster, Sep 15 2010
  

       I like this. Something's gotta be done about these damn ducks mucking up our toxic waste ponds.
doctorremulac3, Sep 16 2010
  

       I agree. F*cking damn duck muck.   

       *u
Boomershine, Sep 16 2010
  

       This is all just Quackery ....
8th of 7, Sep 16 2010
  

       I remember seeing a study that was done on young chickens. A cord and pulley system was set up over their feeding grounds, and various shaped silhouettes trundled overhead.   

       When a goose-shaped figure went over, the chicks had little to no reaction. However, the same shape in reverse (which was more hawk-like: short neck, long tail) caused panic among the little birdies. No training was required, this came built-in.   

       (Edit: OK, I couldn't find the work, but found references: it was the Lorenz & Tinbergen "Hawk / Goose experiment", and was apparently quite a bit more controversial than I've made it sound.)
lurch, Sep 17 2010
  

       Ironically, the most effective deterrent to ducks landing in a pond might be millions of decoy plastic ducks floating on the pond. Migrants flying over would think the pond is already full and there's no territory or resources available for anyone else, and they'd keep on flying.
phundug, Mar 31 2011
  
      
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