Review of Bird Control Systems

We Do The Research - You Make The Choice...

While I am busy encouraging songbirds to our yard, my husband is concentrating on finding bird control systems to discourage the unwanted birds on our property.

Canada Goose

The Canada Geese that congregate on our lawn, are on his Most Unwanted list. They busily chomp down on the grass, destroying the lawn, leaving large droppings behind. And unfortunately, these Canada Geese have deemed that our home is just fine for year-round living, with migration a thing of their past.

Then there's the gulls. Rather than enjoy floating on the lake, they prefer to sit on our boat lift, turning the top of the boat cover into a shade of ‘ammonia white’.

There is also the battle with the starlings who want to build their nests in our eaves, leaving droppings all over our patio area.

Bird control is also necessary in our area for the vineyards and orchards, to deter birds for a few weeks before harvest, from eating all the fruit.

Our nearby airport isn't that fond of birds either, due to the constant threat of bird strikes.

Each species of problem bird has its own behaviors, habitat preference, preferred foods, roosting habits, flocking tendencies, and times of seasonal occurrence.

Typical “problem” groups are gulls, pigeons, blackbirds, starlings, crows, and geese.

Problem Birds

Before you start thinking of "quick fix" solutions for eliminating problem birds, such as shooting them or trapping them, remember that all wild birds (except pigeons, English sparrows and starlings are protected by federal and state laws.)

The basis of any successful bird control program is to identify the bird and what's attracting it. Consider this question: how can I make my area less attractive to the problematic birds.

There is, as yet, no single “silver bullet” for bird control. It is unlikely that there will ever be just one magic control method. Birds are very adaptable and can and do accustom themselves to control methods over the long term. The best control programs employ a variety of products and techniques.

Products can be categorized by the manner in which they discourage or scatter birds; novelty avoidance, startle reaction, predator mimics, and warning signals.

Before you take any action, consider these questions:

  • What do the experts recommend?
  • Could it hurt people, pets and other wildlife?
  • Will it reduce or eliminate the damage?
  • Is it worth the cost?

We do not recommend methods that cause destruction of birds; removal methods by poisoning or shooting. These methods do not sit well with us, and are only effective over the short term anyways. (Although I sometimes struggle with that viewpoint when it comes to starlings...)

Products and Techniques:

  • Habitat Modification
  • Auditory Deterrents; Alarm Systems,
  • Visual Devices, scarecrows, reflecting tape, predator decoys, hawk kites, and lights
  • Chemical Repellents; Tactile, Behavioral, Benomy and Teran,
  • Goose Control - Taste Aversions
  • Physical Barriers; nets, fences, perch barriers
  • Other Methods: Sparrow Traps
  • Water Sprays, Magnets, Microwaves, Lasers

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