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Old 02-17-2018, 11:36 AM #1
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Talking SCARECROWS! Designing a simple one that has some basic 'lifelike' movement

PREFACE:
Yes, scarecrows are still a somewhat effective tool at keeping some bird species away from your fruit trees. There are a lot of options these days, but I don't like techs like 'ultrasonic' (we have pets) or 'lasers' (dont want to blind anyone) etc!

So the humble scarecrow remains a cheap and harmless option. Studies have shown that the best scarecrows are the ones that seem the most human-like... amazing results lol... they also suggest highly-visible works best (our scarecrow should be in a high-vis tradies jacket, not 'country plaid').

They also suggest MOVEMENT is key to keeping the birds suspicious for longer. (They're smart and quickly realise that a non-moving scarecrow is simply a statue to defecate on).

IDEA:
I would also like to add some movement to its body. (yes I'll still be physically moving the scarecrow every couple days)

We're not talking Honda's Asimo robot here, just a physical structure that can change position to keep the birds guessing.

So I just want to expand the basic scarecrow by:
  1. being able to make its head/neck move or rotate (possibly with springs, or some sort of pivot joint that allows the head to rotate up to 180°)
  2. and also I intend to use cable ties to create the forearm etc, so it has some moveability in the wind.
  3. take advantage of the wind to create all the movement
  4. possibly allow the scarecrow to take on different postures, by using some hooks or something so the arms can be repositioned in a variety of ways

It's limbs can't be flopping around wildly in high wind though, but I figure that's easy enough to solve with some strong fishing line?

We're privileged to have a LOT of very crafty people and engineers here at icmag, so I was hoping some of you could suggest what types of fittings/joints etc I should try to use, or just any other suggestions about it!
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:43 AM #2
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btw here's a video of a "CAT scarecrow", I'm guessing it's using springs (?) for its tail and head, and it seems to react to the wind quite nicely (ie. a way that would keep birds guessing) - I basically want to achieve this affect with the head and maybe arms of my regular/person scarecrow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk92lXLPWhc

and here's an ani gif (not from the youtube clip tho) of the same cat scarecrow product (doesn't look very bird-friendly!):

He said he mounted it to a pvc pole to give it more 'swing', and i guess it certainly would move more, but seems less natural to me plus he wouldnt be able to move it anywhere.

I plan to use metal posts (star pickets) and just put a pvc pipe on the back spine of my scarecrow so i can easily move the scarecrows from picket to picket
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:59 AM #3
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Easy Google Search - 1st one I saw looks easy enough.

About : https://www.grit.com/farm-and-garden/do-it-yourself/diy-scarecrow-zm0z14ndzreg

How to make : https://www.motherearthnews.com/home...ecrow-zbcz1406
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:02 PM #4
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CrossBones, yes i know how to make a basic scarecrow, very simple ... i just want to extend it to add wind-based movement

I already had google searched, and was surprised that when you search for building realistic scarecrows there's virtually nothing other than some over-engineered hi-tech examples. I just want wind-driven movement, springs seems to be the way to go, but as engineering isn't my area of expertise I'd love to hear from anyone else who might have any ideas/tips/suggestions how to give the head or arms a somewhat realistic movement
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:23 PM #5
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Wind Powered DIY Scarecrow - To deter varmints, try a wind-powered DIY scarecrow that moves and makes noise. Sorry no springs, only wire, chains, ect..



Spins, makes Noise and Shakes with the wind.. Easily Movable.. Looking forward to seeing others chime in with other types, Good idea for a thread..
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:02 PM #6
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hah thats pretty cool easy to make too (my ballpark lol)

Not very human-looking though (i dont know how much that factor matters tho), but clearly a very ACTIVE scarecrow ... that might be more important than being human-looking, but i dont know.

It seems possible to add shirt + pants to that setup, though im not sure if the center disc will cause problems

Im guessing both are important factors though ... although, we can of course create something that birds have never seen before (some weirdass robot for example)... so I wonder about that too... damn, so many questions when it comes to wildlife who won't answer our questions directly!

The chains it uses is a good weatherproof way though to help keep noise going at the slightest breeze might attach some little bells too !

ps. they did a bloody good job with the face!
and makes me think of another question - is the SIZE of the scarecrow important? im guessing it must be ... david vs goliath is surely realised amongst birds, they're smart ... they know when to attack a weak small bird but leave alone a large one etc.

So we probably need to make it as big as we can while still keeping it practical in terms of ~daily relocations
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:16 PM #7
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btw what parts/joints do i need if i want to connect one piece of wood to another piece of wood via a spring? for the neck of the scarecrow. eg imagine if the scarecrow in the last image with the big head was on a spring
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:46 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossBones View Post
The 2 Links I provided above show everything, except the spring to the head, easy enough to retrofit tho..
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:01 PM #9
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:59 PM #10
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wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man sounds like your answer.


wind powered. its possible

sorry if this comes off as dumb
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