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post #21 of 27 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

Name your boat after a bird then they know where not to ****
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post #22 of 27 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

Here is what I do in Coconut Grove,FL where we have a bird problem from November until March.

-a pig stick with a burgee at the top of the mast
-signal flags (purchased at West marine in 25 foot lengths) strung from the mast head with the main halyard to the stern along the back stay
-signal flags from the mast head to bow if no roller furling (for some reason birds don't like to sit on rollerfurling) using the spinnaker halyard
-removing the lazy jacks, topping lift, etc or loosening them so much that ther is no purchase for a bird. Don't give the critters a place to stand/sit

The idea is to make it unpleasant enough for the birds so that they will go elsewhere (likely someone else's boat), not yours. This does not completely solve the problem, but goes a very long way of doing so. It will take a bit longer to get the boat ready to go sailing or put it to bed after a sail, but it beats dealing with a mountain of bird poop.
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
The owl with the moving head is freaky. Works on a friends boat.
The reality is that anything that moves will scare off birds. It's having something that moves all the time that's the issue.

I have a wind gen and when it works, no birds. but after a calm weekend when no-one has been to the boat, they start.

One of the easiest passive methods I have seen is a stretchy ribbon about 2 inches wide spanned moderately loose anywhere on the boat in a reasonable length, say from the mast to the backstay. The trick is to span it so that when there is even a light breeze, it vibrates and makes a noise. They work well as long as there is a breeze but like all things when they're still, they don't work.

I have been making a net with 100mm square holes from thin cord but it is astonishing how much work it is and how much cord it takes. I didn't want oridinary net (e.g. fish net) because in the size that I need it, it is expensive, heavy and bulky when removed and also difficult to attach. My net, if I ever get it finished, will attach at far fewer points.

But I understand the high cost of netting better now, there is a huge amount of cord in a net.

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post #24 of 27 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

I've had great success stringing up 4 or 5 old CD's on string around the cockpit. Prior to the CD's I could have mined the poop, left primarily by shags and seagulls, in the cockpit that accrued between visits to the boat it was piled up so thick, and since there is rarely a deposit left. The theory is the flashing of sunlight off the CD freaks the birds out. I'll add that the noise of the CD's bouncing around the rigging is also a deterrent as just this last weekend I went out to the boat to do some work on it that needed the cabin door to be closed and the random noise of the CD's clunking around sounded like something big was clambering over the boat. Even I found the random noise a little distracting.

Pressed or recordable CD's work equally as well, although they all loose the silvering after a while and need replacing. Pressed, especially the thicker old style last the best.
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

I also had a hawk that loved to sit at the masthead and eat his prey. Found blue jay heads and other delicacies on the deck often. I bought something called bird-be-gone from Defender (strips of stainless spikes attached to a plastic base) and installed some of them to the flat at the masthead. Looks weird but works. I also ran lines from shrouds to mast about 6" above the spreaders and that kept the buggers off.

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post #26 of 27 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
Well, I didn't want to tell this part, but....

If it was just bird crap, I might be agreeable to just hosing it off. The bigger problem is that the big birds catch fish and sit atop the mast to eat them. Seems like certain parts of the fish are hard to hold onto and they fall to the deck. Those parts have incredible adhesive properties and stick to the deck and stain like nobody's business. Also, their droppings are huge. As much as I'd like to establish peaceful coexistence, I don't see it working out. By the way, there are literally thousands of trees lining the shores of the creek. Seems like they should be at least as good a choice as my mast.
I hear you, I remember what it's like. Just seems like such a losing battle to fight the birds like I see people often do.

The only way I think you could truly get rid of the birds would be to paint the top two feet of the stick with non stick teflon coating and install a heating coil that gets triggered for 30 seconds or so when a bird lands.

Bird lands, heating coil heats up the teflon, bird immediately drops dead and falls on deck or overboard. Gruesome (and awful), involved, but probably very effective.
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post #27 of 27 Old 05-27-2013
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Re: What are you doing to deter birds

A dead bird of the same species as that which are causing you grief freaks them out for a while. So, shoot one, stuff it and leave it on deck, toes-up. When they are done grieving for that one, shoot another, repeat stuffing process. Extra points if you get the Wing Commander.
Of course, it it is a protected species, you may have a problem with the tree-huggers and other assorted spoilsports...

Last edited by arvicola-amphibius; 05-27-2013 at 03:57 AM.
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