I had a boat in City Marina in Charleston until I left for the BVI last year. Every year, the same: Pigeons, Grackles, then an owl! Well, I thought, the owl will run all the birds away from here. Not true. Birds are stupid. They let the owl grab them, haul them up on my mast
mounted radome, and disembowel them. I would come down to the boat, and what wasn't covered in bird crap, looked like a little birdie horror movie
had been filmed there. There were bird guts, legs, beaks, heads, and wings scattered literally all over my boat. I then declared war on the little feathered "rats with wings."
I bought rubber blow up snakes and put them on the deck. They roosted on them and crapped on them. I bought a plastic owl. It seemed to work for about three days, then the birds figured they could ignore it. I tried flash tape. I strung in on a messenger tied to a halyard
and raised a streamer of some 20 pieces of flash tape. That slowed them down for about two days. I did find a way to keep them out of my cockpit
. I strung monofiliment fishing
lines tightly all over the cockpit
in all different directions. Apparently, they can't see small diameter clear lines well and if they are strung right, birds that try to fly through get hung up and ensnarled in the lines. I knew I was on the right path when I stepped into the cockpit one morning and saw bird feathers hung up in my fishing
line. Then the birds tended to stay away from the cockpit and helm
. I extended the fishing line trick by stringing it in my lazy jacks, and that protected my sail cover
from pelting. I also hung some junk cds all over the place with strings under the belief that would scare them. Finally, I downloaded screams of dying birds, predatory birds, shotgun blasts, and lions off the internet
, made a play list, and began playing it at full volume in the mornings and evenings when most of the birds roosted. What I ended up with was a boat so covered in tightly strung fishing line, hanging cds, and flash tape that screamed so loudly the predatory sounds I taped through the cockpit speakers, it was not practical for me to take it out without two hours of dismantling my bird stuff, which was still covered in dung.