To successfully eliminate pest birds from your garden or yard you must first understand a few concepts. First, some knowledge of bird control information. This includes the laws that apply and also what products are available and how to use them. Second, some bird psychology. These are both necessary for birds to get the message that they are not welcome and to leave.
The Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 makes it illegal to hunt, trap, possess, harm or kill any migratory birds, unless allowed by special permit. That being said, there are many products available to help get rid of nuisance birds as well as some make-it-yourself solutions.
Scare tactics are a great and harmless way to repel birds. Using a birds own natural senses works great. You can use visual, sound, taste and smell signals to deter them.
Birds can be warded off using visual cues that normally scare them away. Any moving and shiny, reflective material hung from a tree will help.
You can use strips of silver Mylar or aluminum foil. Tie them to the branches of a tree where birds like to congregate. There are also silhouettes and statues of birds of prey which can be mounted in trees or on rooftops. Also available are silhouettes of predatory animals like coyotes and foxes.
Another option is to use sounds. Machines that mimic the calls of predatory birds will tell the birds to go away. These can be costly. They are available with motion sensors that detect bird movement.
Solutions that taste and smell bad to birds can be applied to roosting and nesting spots. Bird gel can be applied to ledges to make them sticky and therefore unattractive to birds.
Repellent sprays serve the same purpose for non-flat surfaces. The tackiness of these products will be strong enough to upset the birds but weak enough to let them fly away unharmed.
Netting involves simply putting plastic or cotton mesh netting over areas where birds are a problem. The netting prevents the birds from being able to reach the areas you deem off limits. Wire fencing that has small enough mesh to prevent birds from getting trapped is another material useful in cordoning off bird free areas.
Bird spikes are a somewhat more expensive way to deter birds that have become pests. You can have them custom made to fit any outdoor area. Bird spikes are often used on professional buildings where bird traffic, droppings and nesting will create an unsanitary environment.
There are also products like a bird spider which is a mountable base with “spider legs” projecting outward as well as spinning with the wind to deter birds from landing on roofs. You can attach a slanted slope to 90 degree ledges that will make birds slide off. Infrared bird detecting devices can be installed that will shoot a spray of harmless water in the direction of a bird’s path of flight.
There are many elaborate products on the market today. Depending on what you want to invest, there are some really high-tech devices. You will most likely have to incorporate a combination of these methods to achieve even close to satisfactory results.
You may need to resort to trapping birds. If you do this you must first obtain a permit. You must also contact your local wildlife agency to request that they send out an agent to remove the birds and release them elsewhere. Of course there is no way to guarantee that upon release the birds will not fly directly back to your property, happily chirping to their fellow birds, “we’re back!”
It is helpful to remember that migratory birds are not present all year. Therefore you will not have to employ bird control measures year round. A bird’s instincts should never be underestimated. Their desire and ability to return year after year along the same migratory path to their previous nesting grounds is amazingly strong and accurate.