About 1,100 night migratory birds — American coots, grebes and ruddy ducks — landed on the Berkeley Pit Friday and were scared off with Montana Resources and Atlantic Richfield Company's growing arsenal of migratory bird mitigation tools, according to MR spokesperson Mark Thompson.
Seen here is a battery powered fixed-wing drone designed to look like a raptor, which was used during the weekend efforts to get the birds off the pit's water.
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MR also set off fireworks and cannons and used lasers Friday evening. The booms could be heard across town. Another group of about 150 grebes and American coots landed Saturday and were likewise frightened off Saturday evening through the use of various new technologies the companies have invested in to try to ensure another tragedy like the snow geese die-off of 2016 doesn't happen again.
Thompson said there were no bird mortalities this weekend and by Sunday, all the birds were gone. The companies began increasing observation of migratory birds in mid-August.