Bird perches doing their job on SUFICA farms

Some of our partner farmers from Chile and Brazil have now implemented agroecological innovations co-designed with SUFICA researchers, to support ecosystem services in their farms. The practices were chosen following discussions, presentation of scientific evidence and co-design with researchers, at a series of SUFICA workshops.

One of the innovations is tall perches, installed to encourage birds of prey. The idea is that large birds like this Harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus, left), or the variable hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma, above), use the perches for hunting, scaring away smaller birds who are grape-eating pests. Some farmers have been really excited about these, monitoring their use by birds, and adjusting the design themselves to improve outcomes. Seven farms associated with SUFICA have installed the perches.

Here are some amazing camera trap images, captured in Chile by SUFICA team member Nadia Rojas.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance in SUFICA to test thoroughly the impact of perches on grape damage or harvest, as they did in the paper from Australia, by Peisley et al (2017), which inspired us.