The effort is aimed at keeping the birds from wetlands at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park after large numbers of the birds created safety concerns at nearby Augusta Regional Airport, The Augusta Chronicle reported.
The solution has included the use of airboats to knock down the standing vegetation that the birds prefer, according to officials with the Augusta Utilities Department. Other tactics include using whistles and noisemakers to keep the birds away.
A Louisiana-based crew is using two boats to flatten about 360 acres of vegetation this month.
“They’ll be working out here for about two weeks,” research scientist Jason Moak said. “Mainly what they do is use the boats to flatten out all the grass so the birds won’t have such a nice place to roost.”
Crushing the plants in the fall keeps the area nearly bird-free through winter, and the plants regrow in spring.
The 1,100-acre park was created around a series of “constructed wetlands” to help purify effluent from the nearby Messerly Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Giant cutgrass, cattails and other vegetation helps improve water quality. Such habitat, however, draws the prolific redwing, whose numbers peaked in 2005, when 15 million birds were counted in a single night.