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Hello all:

This season our boat is near a day marker upon which a pair of Ospreys have built their nest. They have been using our stern rail as a perch for eating fish and leaving a heck of a mess.

I have read several posts addressing birds on the spreaders and mast head - using spikes and monofilament line - but being the the stern rail, we're looking for something that will not interfere with people in the cockpit.

Does anyone have experience with flash tape or an owl? Are either effective? Does anyone have a suggestion?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Owls are good against small birds like barn swallows (if you keep moving it) but not an Osprey. If you have a bimini you might string fishing line between the rail and the bimini to keep them away.

Brian
 

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While back had bird problem, took old tennis balls cut a slice in them and strung bunch
in in light line my daughter drew scary faces with majic marker on each and we loosely
draped from stem to stern. They swung nicely with wave action and no more problem.
Maybe hang similiar from backstay, don't think scary faces will intimidate but getting
hit in the head with tennis ball might work!
 

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A couple of little flags you can attach to the stern rail. They don't like the flapping.

I did the cheap version for a brief stay with cormarants on the spreaders and used the flag halyards to send up some plastic shopping bags. Their flapping did the trick.
 

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Years ago we had seagulls doing the same thing, we just tied off a bunch of unused cd's and hung them on the lifelines with a clothespin, it worked great. They did not seem to like the flashing, and the movement. When we arrived we just unclipped them, took about a minute, and everything was good. We had clothespins for towels, and the cd's were literally less than a penny. Now if they worked on the stinking spiders that would have been great. :gunner
 

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Dear Kjzerr:

I feel your pain and disgust. We also had the Osprey invasion. After being away for the weekdays, we would come back to the boat (at the time on a mooring) to find what looked like someone was building a bonfire on our bowsprit or our solar panel. I used a net on the bow that worked for some time but then they started to build on the net. Tried swinging, dangling things without success. My solar panel was out between our davits without anything to suspend over it.

I finally gave up. Nothing worked for us and I am sure that sort of a shotgun, it is mighty hard to discourage a committed Osprey if you are not aboard all the time. We came back into a slip this year. The Osprey's won that battle.

The filth they produce with their fish meals is amazing. We had that plus the nest construction. Any canvas will be ruined and the smell is overpowering. I guess they are protected and we love to watch them fly and fish. We just don't want to share their meal in fish dropped on deck to bake in the sun and stick to everything or host their large nests.

Good luck. Seems like a good time to spend more time aboard. That works....they don't want to live with us either. :D

Leslie KB3PWC

s/v Tango, Cabo Rico 34
Lankford Bay Marina
Chester River, MD
 
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