Repel the Pest Birds with Bad Taste
Coating seeds with the malodorous mixture of tar and kerosene will keep birds away. And to foil crows from eating sprouting corn, soak the seeds in turpentine before planting. For every half pound of seeds us one tablespoon of turpentine. Let seeds soak for three days. A commercial product, “Ro-Pel” can be used to coat the seed and then let it dry. It is supposed to repel birds from going after the seed
Repel the Pest Birds With Touch
There are several sticky materials on the market designed to be placed where pest birds tend to roost. Tanglefoot Bird Repellent and Eaton’s 4 are made of a sticky gel that can be an effective repellent for pigeons, house sparrows, starlings, sea gulls, black birds, crows and ravens. These products do not harm the birds but makes roosting uncomfortable due to its consistency.
Repel the Pest Birds With Movement
Some growers are using a MYLAR flash tape to repel birds from vegetable and fruit plots. Tanglefoot makes a product called Tangle Guard Repeller Ribbon and Bird-X sells “Irri-Tape”. It is recommended to string the tape from nearby posts or the like, just before the crop becomes attractive to birds. Take the tape down when the crop is harvested so the birds do not become accustomed to it. The USDA, in test plots of sunflowers, sweet corn and millet, found an increase in production of 60 to 75 percent over unprotected plots.
Repel Birds With Fake Predators
Look through most home landscape supply catalogs and you'll find several models of “fake owls or hawks” that are made from inflatable plastic material. These fake predators can be mounted on a fence at the edge of the home landscape. It's a good idea to move them around every week or so to keep the birds from catching on that they're fakes.
Bird-Scaring Balloons - Bizarrely painted basketball-sized balloons are reportedly used in Japan to protect millions of acres of rice from birds. The balloons are hung from trees or on long poles, and they have several black and red "bullseye" markings on them (supposed to imitate the wing pattern of a moth having the ability to repel moth-eating birds). Just why the balloons scare crop-eating birds is not known, but trials in the U.S. and Canada have shown that the effect is real. Birds which form flocks, including starlings, grackles, crows, and pigeons, are controlled best. One or two balloons per home landscape are recommended to protect such crops as cherries, blueberries, strawberries and corn. These ballons should be suspended from poles made of bamboo, willow, popular or fiberglass. The ballons should be moved every seven to ten days.
Repel the Pest Birds With Light
Just Flash 'Em! - The New England Farm Bulletin reports that researchers at the University of Idaho have found that flashing lights (similar to the lights on emergency vehicles) left on during the day will rid outbuildings of sparrows. The birds didn't acclimate to the "annoyance" even after a year. Now, experiments are being conducted to see whether other birds can be chased away by flashing lights. We think somebody should investigate using flashing lights to keep pesty birds out of orchards when the fruits are ripening. Let us know your results if you try it.