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Author Topic: How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?  (Read 24108 times)

Offline graham.d

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Now I should start by saying I like birds, but recently I feel our house is being targetted for special treatment, by pigeons in particular. After 25 years of having no problems, pigeons have decided to roost under the eaves on two rather uncomfortable perches but which shelter them from rain. I would not mind except that they crap so much all down the oak weather boarding. Chasing them away is only a very temporary fix as they come back soon after. I tried bird spikes but they only worked for a few weeks then they came back. It turns out I needed specific pigeon spikes. Then they found a way into the loft. I evicted them last week and blocked up the entrances - the stupid things stayed in a very inaccessible place so I had to crawl into the dormer roofspace, pick them up, and bring them out individually. They still think the house is their's though and are haunting the place, finding other roosting places and, of course, crapping. They are very persistent. I can't cover the whole house in spikes, gel or model owls, and, other than shooting them, I can't se how to get them to go elsewhere. Any suggestions?

Amazingly another problem arose a couple of weeks ago. There was a strange noise from the loft/roof area that sounded like an African Lion (listen to African Lion 2 from this site...
http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/sound-library/index.htm
I reasoned that it was unlikely, living in the UK, that I would have a lion in my loft. I'm not daft - I know lions don't live Kent. Well, I found the source. I have a sealed up disused chimney with just a vent in the kitchen to keep it dry. There is a metal cowl on top and I found that a starling was vibrating his wing against the metal (the way chicks vibrate their wings when asking to be fed). The sound resonated down the chimney to give the rather loud sound we heard. The bird does this just after dawn every day and again at various times during the day. Why? I can only thing he/she likes the sound. Again chasing away does no good as they don't seem to get the message. This has amusement value and so not so annoying (yet), but how does one stop such things once the bird has learnt it likes doing it?


 

Offline Geezer

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #1 on: 08/02/2010 00:09:24 »
I understand this is quite effective.

http://www.palemale.com/

BTW - count yourself lucky. A bleedin' great woodpecker drilled a huge hole in the side of my friend's house.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 03:42:30 by Geezer »
 

Offline RD

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #2 on: 08/02/2010 03:54:25 »
Robo-Owl ?



Quote
The Great Horned Owl. Natural enemy scarecrow. Heavy-duty molded plastic construction. Our Owl has a rotating head and is hand-painted for maximum realism. Scares pest birds, rabbits, pigeons, squirrels, rodents, and other pests. Use in gardens, fruit trees, roofs, decks, backyard, boats anywhere you may have a pest problem. Attractive and will not harm garden pests or the environment.

More effective than non-moving owls because pests get used to them. Sculpted by a noted wildlife artist for maximum realism. Easily mounts anywhere.


Fake Scare Crow Owl , w/ Rotating Head
DP-RHO4Regular price: $69.95Sale price: $49.95
http://wildbirdmart.com/rowl.html

[If the rotating head was solar-powered it would save having to climb a ladder to replace the batteries].



Play them pigeon-distress and pigeon-predator noises ... http://www.bird-x.com/page.html?chapter=0&id=28

[or a Cliff Richard album  :) ]

PS if you want to try predator sounds for free here is a free owl ... http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=64544
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 04:36:28 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #3 on: 08/02/2010 04:25:56 »
I had a problem with a bird that kept attacking its own reflection. It kept banging on the windows and attacking (and crapping on) the mirrors and chrome bits on my truck. I bought a plastic owl (the static type). NBG. Complete waste of money!
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 05:23:52 by Geezer »
 

Offline RD

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #4 on: 08/02/2010 05:04:37 »
If you do play your pigeons exotic predator sounds, (like this hawk or this falcon),
 your pigeon plague may be replaced by an infestation of of twitchers. :)
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 05:36:08 by RD »
 

Offline RD

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #5 on: 08/02/2010 05:30:25 »
Quote
Sample :: hawk.wav ...  "great sound - i think it helps to scare pigeons away from my balcony :D "
http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=42389


[Could throw in a hissing cat for good measure].
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 05:35:56 by RD »
 

Offline alilbirdie

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #6 on: 08/02/2010 17:19:39 »
Think of homing pigeons, they have the incredible ability to find their way back home, even if up to somewhere around 1500 miles away. Once birds build a good nesting or roosting site, they will be persistent at keeping it. Bird Spikes have their place, but usually once birds start to nest, they will even try and find their way around spikes to return to their site.

The absolute best way to remedy the problem is to screen the area off. This is a humane way to ensure that the birds wont come back. First, clean out the area, use a disinfectant to remove any scents that are attracting the bird back to the spot.

There are companies out their that supply bird netting, Bird-B-Gone, Absolute Bird Control, and others who sell different types of netting..
 

Offline LeeE

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #7 on: 08/02/2010 20:38:03 »
I'm not daft - I know lions don't live Kent.

It would seem that there were 92 sightings of ABCs (Alien Big Cats) in Kent between April 2004 and July 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_big_cats#Sightings
 

Offline Geezer

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #8 on: 08/02/2010 21:41:06 »
I'm not daft - I know lions don't live Kent.

It would seem that there were 92 sightings of ABCs (Alien Big Cats) in Kent between April 2004 and July 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_big_cats#Sightings


What was the count for pink elephants?
 

Offline graham.d

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #9 on: 09/02/2010 09:48:18 »
Thankyou all for your advice. I will try the sounds because it is something I have not tried. I rather agree with alilbirdie though; I think once the pigeons have selected a nesting or roosting site they seem very reluctant to give it up. Unfortunately I don't think netting is going to be at all practical and would be most unsightly.
 

Offline Mazurka

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #10 on: 09/02/2010 14:46:55 »
Take up falconry...

Having been involved in trying to deter birds from landfill sites (admittedly mainly gull and corvid species),I have observed that gas guns (crow scarers) work for a couple of days, fireworks work for a couple of days, starter pistols work for a couple of days, distress calls work for a couple of days, kites work for a couple of days, gunmen are expensive and not well suited for an urban setting), Hawks, win nearly everytime (until the nuisance birds gyr at the same height as the hawk - at which point the hawk gets bored and goes to scavenge off the tip)

Of course the best solution is to mix all of the deterrent methods up and vary them randomly...

(sorry this advice is practically useless in a domestic setting, unless you take up falconry)

I am curious as to what RD's Great Horned Owls have against scarecrows.  [B)]
 

Offline graham.d

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #11 on: 09/02/2010 17:16:30 »
Now I am going to upset a lot of people. It seems to me that it is just a few persistant pigeons that have got into the habit of using my house as a combination of home, rest area and toilet. I have lived in the ouse for 25 years and this has only just started. The evidence would suggest if it wasn't for these 4 or 5 particular birds it might take another 25 years before any others developed the same habits. Now here's the bit some won't like (I'm not keen myself). If I got rid of these particular birds my problem would be cured and I have a friend with a .22 airgun and I am quite a good shot.
 

Offline Geezer

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #12 on: 09/02/2010 17:50:15 »
That has been known to work too. If it was a mice problem, I'm sure you would use mousetraps.
 

Offline RD

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #13 on: 09/02/2010 22:01:57 »
Quote
The [UK] Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that it is an offence to kill any bird - including pigeons - unless a licence is held, but section one allows exemption if an organisation or individual complies with general licence regulations.
   
"This would require a specific public health risk to be identified and other non-lethal methods to be used to disperse the birds before taking the decision to shoot them," a Met Police spokeswoman says.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7474567.stm
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #14 on: 09/02/2010 22:11:35 »
Somehow, that does not surprise me.

I suppose mousetraps are now illegal in the UK too. Come to that, is there anything in the "Nanny State" that is not illegal?
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #15 on: 09/02/2010 22:19:52 »
If you are seen holding anything even remotely gun-like in the UK you can look forward to an armed response from the old bill

http://m.boingboing.net/2010/01/26/kids-tv-hosts-terror.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article529139.ece
« Last Edit: 09/02/2010 22:28:37 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #16 on: 09/02/2010 22:54:09 »
Good gawd! It might be even worse than the USA.

I suppose Graham might be mistaken if he assumes that "an Englishman's home is his castle" then.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2010 06:42:50 by Geezer »
 

Offline graham.d

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #17 on: 10/02/2010 08:55:02 »
I read the BBC site too RD. There are plenty of other sites that say that pigeons are not on the protected list (starlings are protected now, for example, though they were not some years ago). It seems a bit contradictory to have lists but then say that you cannot take action as a result. In fact shooting is one of the few methods that is allowed - poisoning is not, for example. In any case, I have tried alternative methods (for several weeks) and they are a health hazard. I did check on use of an airgun too; it seems to be OK provided I take reasonable safety precautions and only use it on my own property. And the guy I would borrow the airgun from has just retired from the met police!
 

Offline grizelda

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #18 on: 27/02/2010 22:42:26 »
My problem was with a crow that kept attacking the flashing on my chimney. I shone a green laser on him for a second and now he avoids my house like a plague.
 

Offline graham.d

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
« Reply #19 on: 04/03/2010 14:00:12 »
Why would he be afraid of a green laser (at least if it was not one that drilled a small hole in him)?

Anyway I thought you would all be awaiting anxiously for me to to say if I had resolved this pigeon problem, so here is an update...

At risk of life and limb I installed pigeon spikes on all of the places were they had been roosting. These are much bigger than normal bird spikes, which the pigeons seem to be happy sitting on top of. I had already evicted the pigeons from the loft whilst just avoiding getting stuck in the narrow entrance to the dormer roof space and also not falling through the lath and plaster ceiling. Oh yes, and whilst holding a pigeon (I did not have the foresight to take a box in there with me). I did this twice (two pigeons) but took the box in with me the second time. The pigeons have been visiting ever since trying to find a way in. I came out of the house the day after putting the spikes up to find two pigeons (the same two - I recognised them) looking down at the spikes from the roof. They were trying to work out how to get rid of the spikes - I could see it in their eyes. Amazingly, when I looked across to their former nest area in the dormer, on the roof was a cat looking nonchalant, the way cats do. Now this roof is high! It is just possible for a very brave cat to get up there with much acrobatics and a head for heights (which must be the case) but it has never happened before in 25 years. Getting down would be even harder (well, getting down alive). Anyway the cat disappeared later and there were no dead cats about so I suppose he/she made it. Since then the pigeons seem to have given up. No need to shoot them after all.

The starling still beats his wing (at dawn) on the chimney cowl though. I can put up with that though.
 

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How do you deter birds from roosting on your house?
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