by Alex A. Kecskes
Birds like to perch on patio covers to get the “lay of the land” of your patio. They’ll loiter there and wait to see what you’re BBQing or serving for your outdoor breakfast, lunch or dinner. And the minute the opportunity presents itself, they’ll dive bomb your patio table for any uncovered, unguarded food. The worst part is, they’ll also leave bird droppings on your table and (heaven forbid) on any uncovered food. So needless to say, you want to keep pest birds away from your patio covers and patio area. One way to do that is with effective bird deterrents. Here are just a few of the most popular bird control measures:
Creating a Visual Distraction Zone
Birds, in general, are easily shooed away—either by noise or a moving object that makes them too nervous to stay. Bird scare deterrents do just that. They include Flash Tape and Reflective Banners, which reflect sunlight and crackle in the breeze. Equally effective are Scare Eye Diverters, which are large teardrop shaped plastic panels with a large “mock” predator eye and shiny reflective surface. Many homeowners also like to use Bird Scare Balloons, which are beach-ball size deterrents covered with large predator eyes. These visual deterrents are all fairly economical and easy to attach to various areas of your balcony, patio, or gazebo. The one thing to keep in mind is that birds are not dummies, so you’ll need to move these deterrents around from time to time to prevent birds from getting used to them.
A Sound Investment in Bird Control
They’re called Sonic Bird Deterrents and they’re easily set up on your patio cover or under the roof of your gazebo. They emit bird distress and predator calls that sound just like normal bird sounds to the average human. But the sounds are threatening to birds, and they would much rather leave than stick around. One popular bird sonic system can emit distress and predator calls for 22 different species of birds. It comes with a built-in speaker and covers up to one acre. With a system like this, your patio will be protected from pigeons, crows, starlings, swallows, gulls, woodpeckers, sparrows, grackles, cormorants and many other types of birds. The system can be programmed to turn on or off at night and your can adjust the volume of sounds emitted.
Hawk Decoys, the Decorative Deterrent
Red tailed hawks are the natural predators of most pest birds. And unlike owls that hunt at night (when most birds are sleeping), Hawks hunt during the day. The key thing to remember about hawk decoys is they have to be realistic and of high quality. They should be fabricated of heavy-duty plastic to maintain their appearance after several seasons of harsh weather. A couple of hawk decoys, strategically placed around your patio can be an effective pest bird deterrent. Just remember to move them around and reposition them from time to time for best effect.