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Old 03-12-2018, 06:35   #1
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Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

It goes without saying that one of the banes of boat ownership is the constant battle to keep one's boat clean and clear of bird droppings. Thus, folks have been searching for an effective bird deterrent for centuries but without much success. Now the solution may be at hand.

One of our slip neighbors recently obtained a recording of distressed bird calls. The cries birds make when they are injured or under attack to alert/warn others of their flock of the danger, causing all to take flight and flee. As far as I can tell, his recording includes the crys of Gulls, Crows, Sparrows, Ospray et al. He has been replaying these cries through his loud hailer at 5 to 10 minute intervals for the last several days at a not unduly loud volume--such that the sounds are no louder nor more bothersome to human ears than the bird cries one normally hears in a marina. The results have been dramatic, however.

Our marina is quite small, 50 or so boats, located on the north shore of the Manatee River a mile or so from lower Tampa Bay. The area is quite rural and the surrounds are heavily foliated with the kinds of vegetation and trees that normally attracts birds--Date Palms, Pepper Trees, Wild Coffee, and the like. Accordingly our marina is plagued with birds, and particularly during winter months when the migrating "snow birds" arrive. Accordingly, cleaning bird droppings has been a daily necessity for us for the last 25 years. Last Tuesday, after a 10 day absence, I spent an entire day cleaning up the mess on our decks and canvas. While doing so I noted that there were few if any birds about, in contrast with our normal situation, although at intervals I did keep hearing what sounded like an Osprey in distress along with other cries. I looked around repeatedly but could see no birds whatsoever save in the far distance.

Somewhat later, while loading gear into our car, I realized the bird cries were emanating from a somewhat upward facing loud hailer on a neighbors boat. I questioned a dock neighbor, several slips nearer the broadcaster, also giving his boat a wash-down who informed me that our neighboring boat owner had acquired the recording and had begun replaying it earlier that morning.

Great idea I thought, but wondered how long it would continue to be effective. For the sake of the experiment, I did not return to the marina until this past Saturday morning where I found the recording still playing and discovered almost nothing on our decks--three little spots only, likely caused by birds landing during the short intervals of silence between replays of the bird cries but then quickly vacating the locale with their resumption.

I don't know how long this state of affairs will continue as the birds may adapt but, from their survival instincts, I suspect not. If not, I could see marina's and boat owners everywhere obtaining recordings of the same kind and replaying them at modest but persistent volume and permanently preventing these aerial pests. Audio "Bird Bane", Eh?

FWIW...
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:29   #2
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

I have had a Simple,Effective Bird Deterrent (SEBD) and it has the advantage of silence! A dead seagull, laminated between two sheets of clear adhesive plastic, simply lying flat on my roof. Said SEBD needs to be replaced occasionally because UV gets to the plastic. I get occasional "fly overs" by gulls looking and squarking, but they never land. Dead seagulls are easily obtainable by applying small steel balls elastically propelled.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:24   #3
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

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I have had a Simple,Effective Bird Deterrent (SEBD) and it has the advantage of silence! A dead seagull, laminated between two sheets of clear adhesive plastic, simply lying flat on my roof. Said SEBD needs to be replaced occasionally because UV gets to the plastic. I get occasional "fly overs" by gulls looking and squarking, but they never land. Dead seagulls are easily obtainable by applying small steel balls elastically propelled.

Funny...you don't even bother to string it up?....just let it lay there flat on your roof?
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:29   #4
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
It goes without saying that one of the banes of boat ownership is the constant battle to keep one's boat clean and clear of bird droppings. Thus, folks have been searching for an effective bird deterrent for centuries but without much success. Now the solution may be at hand.

One of our slip neighbors recently obtained a recording of distressed bird calls. The cries birds make when they are injured or under attack to alert/warn others of their flock of the danger, causing all to take flight and flee. As far as I can tell, his recording includes the crys of Gulls, Crows, Sparrows, Ospray et al. He has been replaying these cries through his loud hailer at 5 to 10 minute intervals for the last several days at a not unduly loud volume--such that the sounds are no louder nor more bothersome to human ears than the bird cries one normally hears in a marina. The results have been dramatic, however.

Our marina is quite small, 50 or so boats, located on the north shore of the Manatee River a mile or so from lower Tampa Bay. The area is quite rural and the surrounds are heavily foliated with the kinds of vegetation and trees that normally attracts birds--Date Palms, Pepper Trees, Wild Coffee, and the like. Accordingly our marina is plagued with birds, and particularly during winter months when the migrating "snow birds" arrive. Accordingly, cleaning bird droppings has been a daily necessity for us for the last 25 years. Last Tuesday, after a 10 day absence, I spent an entire day cleaning up the mess on our decks and canvas. While doing so I noted that there were few if any birds about, in contrast with our normal situation, although at intervals I did keep hearing what sounded like an Osprey in distress along with other cries. I looked around repeatedly but could see no birds whatsoever save in the far distance.

Somewhat later, while loading gear into our car, I realized the bird cries were emanating from a somewhat upward facing loud hailer on a neighbors boat. I questioned a dock neighbor, several slips nearer the broadcaster, also giving his boat a wash-down who informed me that our neighboring boat owner had acquired the recording and had begun replaying it earlier that morning.

Great idea I thought, but wondered how long it would continue to be effective. For the sake of the experiment, I did not return to the marina until this past Saturday morning where I found the recording still playing and discovered almost nothing on our decks--three little spots only, likely caused by birds landing during the short intervals of silence between replays of the bird cries but then quickly vacating the locale with their resumption.

I don't know how long this state of affairs will continue as the birds may adapt but, from their survival instincts, I suspect not. If not, I could see marina's and boat owners everywhere obtaining recordings of the same kind and replaying them at modest but persistent volume and permanently preventing these aerial pests. Audio "Bird Bane", Eh?

FWIW...
Interesting. I have a relative by marriage who keeps his boat on a lake in Quebec. He bought a telescoping 16' pole and a sturdy kite that resembles an osprey to tether to the top of it. It's designed to bank, rise, and descend like a real osprey. He says it has kept his boat and dock clean. I ordered one, the whole rig is about $100, pricey. I haven't used it yet, as it doesn't work in winds over 25 mph, which here in St. Pete, is a lot of the time in the winter (but I don't see a lot of birds lounging on my boat in high winds anyway). We'll see if it works here or not.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:44   #5
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

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Originally Posted by Bruce K View Post
I have had a Simple,Effective Bird Deterrent (SEBD) and it has the advantage of silence! A dead seagull, laminated between two sheets of clear adhesive plastic, simply lying flat on my roof. Said SEBD needs to be replaced occasionally because UV gets to the plastic. I get occasional "fly overs" by gulls looking and squarking, but they never land. Dead seagulls are easily obtainable by applying small steel balls elastically propelled.
I hate to say it, but in America, someone would likely report you for cruelty to animals.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:50   #6
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Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

So HyLyte, what is this recording called and can you get a source from your neighbor? Ive never heard of one that actually worked so Id be interested to know more.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:36   #7
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

Our boat yard here in the sticks of Scotland has a large loudspeaker system, which emits , distress calls of birds and calls of raptors , not new, has been done for years in farmers fields as well.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:46   #8
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

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Our boat yard here in the sticks of Scotland has a large loudspeaker system, which emits , distress calls of birds and calls of raptors , not new, has been done for years in farmers fields as well.

Is it effective in the long term?
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:05   #9
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

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Is it effective in the long term?
Interesting Question, she was on the hard from January to July while I worked on her most days , and the main reason for the bird scarier was the starlings that came out of the city to roost on all the masts and radar tower, thousands of them and the murmurings were beautiful until you looked at your deck after a night. So to an extent it was useful , but I did notice that less and less were scared off, but there was certainly less through the summer , although the noise was bloody awful if on the yard in early evening working.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:07   #10
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

My experience at a high electrical use facility with a lot of electrical gear in outside areas is the birds will get comfortable with these recordings in time. These birds actually started nests. My corn farmer friends tried using everything and now swear by laser beams in a spectrum that humans can't see and supposedly is not harmful to us. They have these in an intermittent flash mode. Nothing to back any of the laser stuff up and I doubt the safety but they swear it works. I would seriously advise high caution with any of this. Wouldn't it be sweet if it were true? I could see a very low electrical draw option. Anybody else know about this?
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:18   #11
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

in re SEBD:


In Maine it is illegal to kill birds other than game birds. That includes seagulls.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:19   #12
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

There are a few commercial versions: https://www.amazon.com/Bird-Gone-Cha...45147114&psc=1

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Old 03-12-2018, 10:47   #13
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

We've had the recording going at our marina for the almost 4 years we've been here. It works within a radius determined by the birds themselves. Since the speaker is on shore the boats closest to shore have no complaints, we - being on the farthest dock from shore see no real effect.

**The marina has the recording set on some kind of motion detector, so the distress calls only go off when a bird flies by and sets it off***. I think this would be less monotonous for the humans and also prevent the birds from getting used to (and ignoring) the recordings** Of course, now we're talking more money....
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:58   #14
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

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I hate to say it, but in America, someone would likely report you for cruelty to animals.
Why do you hate to say it? Someone should if seeing it.

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Old 03-12-2018, 11:03   #15
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Re: Simple, Effective Bird Deterrent--Finally!

Guys in my marina hooked up a small blower to a 3/4 inch pvc pipe with a piece of sewed fabric on the end of it about 1 foot long. The contraption is hoisted to the top of the mast with a spare halyard and a 110v extension chord. The extension chord is plugged into a timer which goes off for 2 seconds every 2 minutes. The fabric snaps to attention when the blower is powered for the two seconds. Has worked flawlessly for over a year! Birds fly away when the blow cycle initiates. I can send pictures if anyone is interested. All parts cost less than $100. Works great!
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