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Design and Development

Wide Angle Photo of Irish Mountain Orchard

Inspired by Necessity

FruitDefender™ began life out of necessity to defend Irish Mountain Orchard in Minnesota against persistent, fruit-damaging birds. Tired of trying ineffective bird scare devices like noise makers, shiny ribbons, balloons,  and stationary owl decoys, the owner and inventor, Dr. Dwain Merickel, set about creating something far better.  After years of experimenting and testing ideas, he finally refined an effective design that truly worked, and the FruitDefender was born!

Scaring Birds The Natural Way

The free-flying motion of the FruitDefender mimics a real hawk patrolling over its territory. The dark silhouette of the weighty hawk against the sky strikes instinctual terror into starlings, robins, flickers, sparrows, grackles, and other small, fruit-damaging birds. After Dr. Merickel hung the FruitDefender in his orchard he found that no bird would go near his apples. He’d finally found what he needed.

Sharing Success

After experiencing incredible success with the FruitDefender protecting his own apple orchard, Dr. Merickel began to spread his invention to other regional fruit growers before beginning national distribution. Hundreds of the FruitDefenders have already been sold and resulted in many successful reports from fruit growers across the country. Its simple, elegant design has got the birds beat!