Propane Cannons For Bird Control

Farms are subject to many natural disasters and pests. Birds can be very destructive to crops and property. Using a propane bird cannon is an effective way of scaring away these harmful pests.

What Is a Propane Cannon for Bird Control?

The name may be a bit of a misnomer. Propane cannons for birds do not look like Civil War cannons, but they do come in different styles. Think of a high-powered water gun that makes more noise and blows fire instead of water. A propane cannon is attached to a propane tank. An ignition mechanism connects the tank with the cannon and is used to emit high-powered, high-pitched blasts. These high decibel blasts are used to scare away pests like birds from farms and agricultural land.

The Best Bird Propane Scare Cannons

The Zon Mark 4 propane cannon is among the most used brands in the country. There are many different brands to choose from. You want a reliable brand and an effective model that will keep birds and other pests away from your property.

Here are some of the best types of bird scare cannons to consider:

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Sonic Sentinel m14-1 Propane Sound Cannon & Tripod Bird Deterrent

This powerful propane cannon emits 130-decibel sonic blasts. It will fire about 20,000 times on one tank of propane. Users love the ease of use and the automatic timer that will emit 1, 2, or 3 shots in rapid-fire succession. This model comes with a tripod that lifts the unit three feet into the air. When the tripod is used one shot can cover a distance of about ten acres. The Sonic Sentinel M14-1 also features mechanical control encased in heavy-duty plastic. This helps prevent water damage and exposure to the elements. The maintenance-free design ensures this will be a long-lasting product.

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Zon Electra Gun Bird Scare Propane Cannon

This muscle-bound product features an adjustable decibel meter ranging from 100-128. They are often used in airports and on private property. It is equally effective over land or water. This Zon Electra model features patented technology. Their on-demand immediate explosions increase the effectiveness of bird air strike hazard. An intermittent, automatic timer features three different modes. Users can set the unit to fire at random for a specific period of time. This is a great feature for areas that cannot be constantly monitored.

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Zon Automatic Scarecrow

Another favorite Zon product, the Automatic Scarecrow is an easy-to-use bird-scaring tool. Like the Zon Mark 4 propane cannon, this model features efficient propane consumption. Even though this is a compact unit, it still delivers a 120-decibel blast. An automatic timer gives users lots of options for their investment. Intermittent blasts can be set to detonate at a range of anywhere from forty seconds to thirty minutes. Each propane tank yields about 17,000 blasts.

Do Bird Cannons Use a Special Type of Propane?

Propane cannons use the same type of propane that is used for other household purposes. A gas grill propane tank is effective for use with propane cannons. These can be purchased or rented at most home improvement warehouses, outdoor stores, and even some grocery stores during the summer season.

sonic sentinel bird propane cannon
The Sonic Sentinel bird propane cannon.

Are There Different Types of Bird Scare Cannons?

Yes, propane cannons for bird control come in many different forms and sizes. Some are manual and designed to be handheld. They are useful for aiming at a specific target or precision shooting practice. Others are set up like a tripod design and can be programmed to fire at specific intervals or preset times.

What Is an Air Cannon?

This type of manual cannon works by a compressed air process. The tube or barrel contains highly pressurized air and is released when a trigger is manually pulled. Some air pressure cannons are more advanced and the cannon can be automatically set. No propane or other fuel is required for most air cannons. Hybrid cannons may provide a way for the user to choose between pressurized air or propane for each blast.

Are Air Cannons Easy to Use?

Yes, air cannons are quite easy to use. In fact, they are even easy to build! Most air cannon versions can be assembled in one day with minimal skill. Because they are very manual, they are not the most effective way to deal with persistent wildlife problems.

What Do Bird Scare Cannons Have in Common?

Both types of cannons emit a loud, high-pitched noise. The two types of cannons serve the same purpose in many cases. For example, both are used on farms and in fields to scare away unwanted birds. Wildlife, in general, prefers quiet environments and will be spooked away quickly at any loud or unexpected noise disturbance.

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What Is the Purpose of Air and Propane Cannons?

Both types of cannons, air, and propane are designed to be noisemakers. They are mainly used in agricultural settings and airports. Their primary function is to keep a specific area clear of unwanted birds and other wildlife. They are frequently used as a preferred method of controlling wildlife because they do not propose a threat of harm to the animals and birds.

Do They Function the Same Way?

No, air Cannons only feature compressed air. They do make about as much noise as a propane cannon. They may even blow off a little smoke, but they do not contain any fire. Propane cannons use fuel instead of compressed air. The decibel emissions for propane cannons are usually much higher than their compressed air counterparts.

What Are Propane Cannons Used For?

Propane cannons are primarily used to make noise and deter pests away from crops and fields. They make enough noise to startle flocks of birds and encourage them to keep flying over an area without stopping. Although they are primarily used in agricultural areas, they can be used in other places as well.

Can You Operate Them Anywhere?

Rural areas have different zoning regulations than urban areas. In fact, propane cannon regulations prohibit their use in highly populated areas. This is due to noise ordinances as well as potential safety concerns. When used properly, propane cannons are completely safe. A propane bird cannon will rarely malfunction or provide cause for concern. But the high decibel emissions are considered a form of noise pollution and not suitable for suburban areas.

bird scarer propane cannons
Propane cannons are best used to scare away birds in commercial and agricultural scenarios.

Do Military Bases Use Bird Scare Cannons?

Most military airfields make use of propane cannons. Other military bases may also use them intermittently to keep training areas clear of wildlife. Most major airports also implement propane cannons to prevent injury to birds and planes. This is an easy and cost-effective way to keep military bases clear of pests.

Can Commercial Businesses Use Them?

Many businesses that operate large areas of land make use of bird scare cannons. Airports are one of the major industries that implement propane cannons. Birds' information over a landing strip can create serious problems for planes.

propane cannons can be used to scare birds away from runways
Propane cannons can be used to scare birds away from runways.

Golf courses and other recreational areas also use propane cannons. Birds can destroy property and disturb players and their guests. It is best to keep the fields and greens clear of unwanted pests when people are paying to have a good time.

Designated hunting fields also use propane cannons. In this case, they are not necessarily trying to scare the birds away. They may want to redirect birds and other animals to another area for hunting purposes. Routing birds, ducks, and geese out of bushes makes it easier to find them.

How Do You Use a Bird Cannon?

The cannon is connected to a propane tank. You can either set it directly on the ground or use a tripod to raise it up. Tripod devices usually bring the cannon about three feet off the ground. The user has the option to manually fire the cannon by pressing an ignition switch. Most people prefer to use a timer and move back a bit to put distance between themselves and the cannon. The noise that scares birds can also be uncomfortable to human ears.

Are Bird Cannons Manually Fired?

Propane cannons for birds can be manually fired. If you want to test a cannon, you will stand close to it and press an ignition switch. You can also use a timer so that the cannon will fire on its own at a specific time. Automatic timers can be set for one to three minutes in most cases. Random fire timers provide automatic use throughout the day.

How Do They Sound When Fired?

When a propane cannon is fired, it sounds very similar to a gunshot. The noise is very effective at scaring away birds and other pests. They want to avoid most noises made by humans. This is especially true when those noises sound like hunters may be nearby.

Does the Noise Hurt Birds?

No birds are hurt when a propane cannon is fired. A better term for these devices may be a bird scare cannon. Propane cannons were designed to be an effective deterrent system against wildlife and birds. The noise serves only to scare them away, not harm them. It may literally ruffle a few feathers, but birds simply fly on to another area where it is quieter.

Can Propane Cannons Be Used for Other Wildlife?

Propane cannons are highly effective for use against most types of birds and wildlife. Parks, campgrounds, and hiking areas are often inhabited by unwanted guests. They may range from biting insects to large bears. Mountain lions are especially prevalent in some parts of the country. All these instances of wildlife sightings are scary for hikers and campers. An air or propane cannon can be used to scare away wildlife and other predators. They are a great option because they do not cause harm to either party.

The Zon Mark 4 Propane Cannon
The Zon Mark 4 Propane Cannon.

Can I Use a Bird Scare Cannon in My Yard?

Propane cannon regulations vary by state and county. Check your local ordinances to determine if you are able to have a propane cannon in your yard. Many homeowners use air or propane cannons near their stocked ponds. Predatory birds often feed on unsuspecting koi and trout. A propane bird cannon will ensure these birds don't stray too close to your pond.

How Far Away Should You Be When Using a Bird Cannon?

For your own personal safety, you should stand at least 100 yards away from a propane cannon that is due to fire. Always wear earplugs when operating a propane cannon. It's also a good idea to wear earplugs when working in close proximity to any device that emits loud noises.


The use of propane cannons and other devices to eliminate wildlife hazards is efficient and cost-effective. Users can control how often, and in some cases, how loud each blast comes. When choosing a model to control bird and wildlife encroachment, consider your most important goal.

If you only want to keep birds away while you are working in a field or harvesting crops, you may not need a device that features automatic timers. If you entertain guests or host events, a device that automatically fires blasts at regular intervals will be the best option. Bird and pest control units are available for any specific need you have, so you will certainly find exactly what suits your purposes.

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