Wisconsin residents sue farmers over bird-repelling cannons

Some residents of a small town in western Wisconsin are suing the owners of a nearby farm who use propane-fueled cannons to protect their corn crop from blackbirds.

Winona Daily News reports that Jerod Hansen and Cathy Tabor-Hansen filed a lawsuit that alleges Mark Klein, Wendell Klein and Carlton Klein conspired to conceal or suppress their use of the cannons while the Hansens were negotiating to buy a home from Mark Klein.

There are a large number of blackbirds that roost in the town of Trempealeau, about 16 miles (26 kilometers) east of Winona. The Kleins say they’ve used the cannons since the 1960s. The cannons sound like shotguns but allegedly aren’t lethal to the birds.

There has been no legal response so far from any of the Kleins listed in the suit.