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Old 18-02-2015, 03:00   #1
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Bird control methods

Hi,

In Sept 20013 I moved my boat from a marina to my own mooring. Within two weeks I was attracting every bird in the bay. I got a real shock when I went to clean the mess to discover almost half an inch of prime whitewash all over my solar panels. The deck was splattered in the stuff and then I discovered that in that short period of time, two nests were made in my two sail booms.

I started researching what to do. I motored around all the other boats and got an assortment of ideas, none of which worked completely. The funniest was those revolving T's about a meter wide, one close to be had a bird in the revolving arm going around and around.

By chance I was speaking the guy I purchased my tackle off and he said in five years he'd never had a bird so much as sail over his boat. His solution was to find a dead seagul and tie it to any part of the boat. He claimed it blacklisted his boat as a 'death boat'. Well, I had nothing to loose so I found a dead bird from an old derilick boat and tied it onto my solar panel.

The first season not a single piece of bird poop. Then from April till November last year my boat was slipped 60 miles away. When I returned it in November, again, no birds in the last 2 1/2 months. They don't even seem to fly over it, but I might be exaggering that.

What methods do others use that work or don't?
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Old 18-02-2015, 03:27   #2
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Re: Bird control methods

Tie a couple of old CD from strings on your spreaders or lifelines, so they dangle in the wind and reflect the light. No birds will come to your boat.
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Old 18-02-2015, 03:47   #3
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Re: Bird control methods

Fake snakes on deck even run one up a flag halyard

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Old 18-02-2015, 03:49   #4
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Re: Bird control methods

There was a live-aboard with a cat (feline, not multihull) nearby that kept the birds off nicely. Moggy has gone to a shore life now and the birds are back, not badly yet, but I suspect word will get around and it will get worse.


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Old 18-02-2015, 03:49   #5
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Re: Bird control methods

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Tie a couple of old CD from strings on your spreaders or lifelines, so they dangle in the wind and reflect the light. No birds will come to your boat.
Eagles CDs should work best.
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Old 18-02-2015, 03:53   #6
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Re: Bird control methods

I've seen some people use a plastic owl...I asked one guy about it and he said every two months he needs to bring it down and clean the bird s..t off of it!

Birds seem to like sitting on my stainless rails. I use cable ties with the tail left long and pointing upwards. Works well.
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Old 18-02-2015, 04:24   #7
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Re: Bird control methods

We used CD's on the last boat with some success. Not so fortunate with the rubber snake; they just pooped on that. With the latest boat, bird netting over the cockpit has worked fantastic and - don't ask me how - it's keeping them off the rest of the boat as well.

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Old 18-02-2015, 14:55   #8
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Re: Bird control methods

When my boat was on a mooring, it attracted many birds. I considered spreading a net over the deck but I wanted something faster to install.

I just tensioned 3 thin black lines from the gooseneck to the bow and stern pulpits: one line to the bow, one to each corner of the stern. It was sufficient to stop the invasion. My opinion is that seagulls don't like to walk on a deck with lines overhead that could get caught in their wings.

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Old 18-02-2015, 15:08   #9
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Re: Bird control methods

There is a boat down my way with a large Eagle and another with a large Owl. Neither seem to work to me as there is bird poop on both boats. But they may believe it works well enough.

There's a number with netting all over them. But I don't want the time it takes to remove netting.

I've noticed one with several snakes, but someone else told me he keeps complaining that someone is stealing his snakes and the person who told me that suspects the bigger birds are stealing the snakes.

No one down here is using the CD suggestion, that sounds another possibility.

For me, nothing has worked as good as the dead bird thing, and especially seeing since November when it's been back, I've not had a dead bird to put on it. But my boat is still marked. Someone suggested it will work until the next generation are born and then I'll have to mark the boat again with another dead bird. I'm happy to do that.
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:16   #10
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Re: Bird control methods

Birds go where there is food or where they think other birds are getting food. If you're around docks or boats where birds are fed you'll draw seagulls even if they don't want the food offered. In the winter I have people near me feeding ducks. The seagulls come running and may refuse whatever it is, but then hang around and do what they do best.
No food and things that interfere with flight and making perches impossible (like tops to pilings) will keep them away. If they can't get to your cabin top they'll go somewhere else to hang around.
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:21   #11
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Re: Bird control methods

I tied a few garbage bags to the flag halyrads and hoisted them

They didnt like something flapping larger than themselves
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:35   #12
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Re: Bird control methods

Interesting!
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:38   #13
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Re: Bird control methods

Some monofilament fishline stretched across certain places can work. Birds have very sharp vision and don't like stuff in the way where they want to land or sit.
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:41   #14
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Re: Bird control methods

I've tried the CD thing, strung them on monofilament and ran them up the main halyard, no success at all, but they did look cool on a sunny day. The plastic owl and snakes do nothing either.
For some reason the MY's in our Marina go relatively un-molested, it's the SV's that catch it?

I've seen nothing that works, but I am not against trying the dead bird.

What's this netting you guys speak of? Got a link or picture maybe?

Neighbor had a bird fly into his spinning wind genny, splattered bird guts all over the MY beside of him, but the noise that wind genny makes is more annoying than the birds, and I don't think it keeps them off his boat

On the trash bags, just ziptie them to your stays like a flag?


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Old 18-02-2015, 16:20   #15
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Re: Bird control methods

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I've tried the CD thing, strung them on monofilament and ran them up the main halyard, no success at all, but they did look cool on a sunny day.
I find with CD's they need to be near to where the birds gather. I had problems with birds sitting behind the dodger and in the cockpit. The CD's strung from the boom and dodger on sufficient line to let them flip around in the breeze was the most effective solution in our case


Quote:
What's this netting you guys speak of? Got a link or picture maybe?
It's like a light monofilament fishing net with about a 1" square opening. It's normally used to cover fruit trees to keep the bats and birds away. My wife installed some adhesive hooks in a couple of strategic places, trimmed the netting to the right size and then threaded a hem of elastic bungee cord around the bottom to create a contraption that probably takes all of a minute to install and half the time to remove. It only covers our cockpit, but as I mentioned before, seems to keep birds off other areas of the boats as well.

I think different birds probably react differently to different methods. We don't have a big problem with birds that want to perch aloft or along the rails. Our ones like to take shelter in the cockpit or stand on the decks instead.
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