/ Humane bird deterrent?

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Fraser on 16 Jul 2017
Bought a new house recently and have discovered the neighbour (elderly, single woman, slightly eccentric) likes to feed birds and assorted other wild animals. The silent ones don't bother me at all, and I'm all for being considerate to animals, but the birds - mostly gulls it seems - are incredibly noisy in the early morning. I'm a very light sleeper so they're currently waking me at 4am, the novelty of which has already worn very thin!

I'll have a word with the neighbour next time I see her about stopping feeding them, but are there any known methods of successfully deterring birds? Right now I'm only considering non-violent solutions, but if they don't work, who knows...
earlsdonwhu - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Poison.................. the neighbour?
balmybaldwin - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

Get a bigger bird (that's quiet)
Fraser on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

That's already been suggested to me actually! Apparently mass gulls just crowd a hawk into flying off.
wintertree - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

If it helps, think of the gulls as "flying rats" and not birds.
balmybaldwin - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Get a cat?
Fraser on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

We've had 6 of them over the last 20 years so was kind of looking forward to not being tired to a pet, blatter how much I enjoyed having them. Plus, the gulls seem to congregate on the neighbours garage roof, where she throws their food. I find a National Geographic Web page that listed some possible solutions, but none of them seemed totally guaranteed.
jon on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

I sympathise but don't have a solution, I'm afraid. We've got redstarts nesting in the eaves of our new house. The males are really territorial. One of them has adopted a strange ritual. He perches on the garage window sill, craps on it, then attacks his reflection in the glass. Then flies onto the car door, craps on it and attacks the wing mirror. Then the garage again... And so it goes on all day. Until he runs out of crap, I suppose. Newspaper selotaped over the window works but then the garage is dark...

Could she not feed the gulls on the other side of the house. It does seem rather antisocial of her.
Andrew Wilson - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Buy a decoy Owl and perch it somewhere overlooking the feeding area.

If she is overdoing the feeding it may also be attracting rats.

Andy
jkarran - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Just talk to your neighbour about your concerns, see where that gets you. Your other options basically all involve antagonising someone you need to live next to in some way or another.
jk
Martin W on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

When you say she likes to feed birds and it attracts gulls, does she just chuck stale loaves and heels out in the garden? One of our neighbours used to do that: the gulls loved it and yes, they did make a racket. He doesn't do it any more. I think someone (not me) had a word...

I don't know what he does do with his stale bread these days but he certainly doesn't put it in his food recycling bin - he doesn't put anything in any of the recycling bins that the council provides. When the landfill bin collection switched to being fortnightly rather than weekly, he complained to the council that they wouldn't take away the black bin bags that he put his excess rubbish in (despite this being clearly stated policy in the leaflets that the council sent round about the changes to domestic refuse collections) - so they sent him a bigger landfill bin <rolleyes>.

He has two cars, both with 5 litre engines. I've only ever seen him with one passenger at most in either of them. Neither of them will now fit on his drive without overhanging the pavement, because he converted his garage in to a utility room, and stuck a new garage on the front of the utility. (I did mention that this might be a problem in my comments on his planning application for the extension.) The one that he doesn't park not-quite-completely on his drive, he parks on the street with two wheels on the pavement.

Basically: he's an arse, which is why I avoid speaking to him.

Sorry, I don't know quite where all that came from.
wintertree - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Martin W:

There's a song about your neighbour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrgpZ0fUixs
sensibleken - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

A cat on a pole?
Wingnut - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to sensibleken:

Just needs the right sort of cat. One of my brother's two is is a dab hand (paw?) at getting onto roofs. Not so good at getting down again, mind, but that's a problem for her human slave to sort out ...
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Fraser on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to jon:
Funnily enough they were very quiet this morning, despite it being quite nice weather, which usually brings them out in force. Fortunately I'm bailing on hols this Wed - heading down your way actually - so will get a break from the blighters for a while! :D

In reply to Andrew Wilson:
Good suggestion thanks - it's one of those on the Nat Geog site I mentioned above.

In reply to jkarran:
yes, agreed, I plan to do so next time I see her. She is slightly eccentric though - writes children's cartoon books...about animals and birds, so I'd hate to deprive her of her muses, but needs must!

In reply to Martin W:
Not sure what she chucks out, but it's onto her detached garage roof, which is adjacent to mine; the birds just gather round anywhere within swooping distance, all squawking and smacking their chops in anticipation. At least your own neighbour finally stopped, I'm hoping the same can happen here.

In reply to wintertree:
Link didn't work, but I got the gist from the title! ;)

In reply to sensibleken:
I like your left-field thinking ...but you need to change that user name!


radddogg - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Blue DMM Torque Nut
radddogg - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> Sorry, I don't know quite where all that came from.

Motive, means and opportunity
JJ Krammerhead III - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Standard bird deterrents include 'scare kites' with hawk profiles on them (some use) hawk eyes spinning plates with eye motifs (no use at all). Some colleagues recently experimented with bike lights that flashed - not sure what the outcome was
sensibleken - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Wingnut:

Cat-a-pult? getting back down would not then be an issue.
jon on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

Ha, we're off to Ireland for a couple of weeks to enjoy some 'patchy rain'. If we're lucky...
Ramblin dave - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Fraser:

My mate Steve in sixth form was pretty much a human bird-deterrant. Not sure if that helps...
Fraser on 21:03 Thu
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> My mate Steve in sixth form was pretty much a human bird-deterrant. Not sure if that helps...

Might do, what are his rates for just standing about? !


In reply to jon:

Enjoy! I got down to Nice yesterday, despite my best endeavours not to by arriving at Edinburgh airport only to realise I'd left my passport in Glasgow. It's a bit hot here....!
Dave Garnett - on 21:36 Thu
In reply to Fraser:

> I'm a very light sleeper so they're currently waking me at 4am, the novelty of which has already worn very thin!

This will sort itself out in a few weeks, won't it?

Hugh J - on 07:51 Fri
In reply to sensibleken:

> A cat on a pole?

Better be quick about it. It's only 20 months until we leave the EU.
RomTheBear on 10:52 Fri
In reply to Fraser:

A hawk- shaped drone ?
BlueTotem on 11:06 Fri
In reply to Andrew Wilson:

> Buy a decoy Owl and perch it somewhere overlooking the feeding area.

> If she is overdoing the feeding it may also be attracting rats.

> Andy

Seconded. I worked at a warehouse once where they dropped a grand on some fancy net thing to keep pigeons out of the loading bay. Didn't work at all, so they ripped it out and put a plastic owl from the garden centre. The eyes scared the birds off.
Fraser on 11:42 Fri
In reply to BlueTotem:

Thanks for this, will definitely check out such options. Hopefully gulls are as worried about owls as pigeons.
AllanMac - on 13:44 Fri
In reply to Fraser:

According to the RSPB website: "Some local authorities are considering by-laws to prevent the feeding of gulls in certain areas":

https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/gardening-for-wildlife/animal-de...

Maybe worth checking out what your local authority policy is on this. If gulls are also a noise nuisance (As they clearly are, especially at a time when most people normally sleep) you can get them to install equipment for a few weeks to monitor decibel levels from your bedroom.

General info here on Noise Nuisances:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/noise-nuisances-how-councils-deal-with-complaints
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freeflyer - on 14:38 Fri
In reply to Fraser:

When my brother was an early teenager he was very keen on his beauty sleep, and was obsessed about the pigeons who collected on the roof above his bedroom eyeing up the sh@g possibilities with next door's dove collection and interminably going coocoocoo, coocoo.

Early one Sunday morning we were launched out of bed by the roof exploding, and it turned out he had been lurking in the loft extension until a sufficient number had congregated, and then tossed out a bundle of bangers saved up from fireworks night. Words were spoken.
Fraser on 12:21 Sat
In reply to AllanMac:

Thanks very much for this, it's really useful.


In reply to freefaller:

Great tale, hopefully I won't have to resort to similar!

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