Author Topic: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast  (Read 298 times)

Offline chimerakc

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Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« on: February 17, 2017, 07:10:43 PM »
I think I have heard about things like metal spikes? that you can put up there to keep birds off?  They poop not only on my boat but neighboring ones at our dock.     Any tips or advice welcome - where to get them - the easier to install the better.   There is no longer a radio antennae up there fyi.


Offline jdklaser

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 09:32:06 PM »
strips of shiny mylar hung at the top of the mast has worked for me in the past.  the mylar  flashes a lot and it freaks the birds out. 
 

Offline Blown Away

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 10:27:29 PM »
 West Marine sells a variety of bird deterrents. Rubber toy snakes work well.

Offline Tim Gardner

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 10:41:05 PM »
Remington.22 cal bird shot.
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Offline Wes

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 10:50:58 PM »
Ha ha ha Tim don't shoot your Windex off.
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Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 02:46:08 AM »
A windex with a bird proof spike works well.  That and a VHF antenna makes it an unsightly place to land.  At least it works that way on my boat.
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Offline Bob23

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 05:55:01 AM »
Mine as well. No birds hang out on the top of mine because there's too much stuff up there already. Windex, anchor light, VHF antenna. No, they'd rather poop all over my mainsail cover! I find some thin lines run over the top of the cover keeps the little critters away.
Bob23

Offline brackish

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2017, 06:45:14 AM »
West Marine sells a variety of bird deterrents. Rubber toy snakes work well.

LOL, brings back a memory from way back.  I worked at a plant that made offshore oil and gas lift skids.  The plant had a big open back with a barge canal that came into the building 250', so the whole back of the plant was open.  We had a bird problem, specifically pigeons that would come in and roost up in the bridge crane way and crap all over everything.  We tried all kinds of deterrents including rubber snakes and put cameras up there to see if they were working.  The pigeons seemed to prefer to nest in the places we put the rubber snakes.

What worked? Twice a year we would have an employee lottery and the winners would get to line the canal coming into the plant on a Sunday late afternoon and have a pigeon hunt.  It was a very popular event and the only way we found to get rid of them.  Fish and game approved the hunt and would send a ranger in to monitor it and participate.

On my boat, birds are a problem but there are Indians closer to the wagons than them.  Spiders, dirt daubers, and other wasps are a much more invasive problem for me.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 06:48:11 AM by brackish »

Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2017, 05:37:19 PM »
Yeah....I get the poop on the sail cover a lot too!  Those darn birds leave quite a mess on it constantly!

I did see a few boats that had plastic snakes tied to the boom on top of the cover and that seemed to work.  No one likes a snake, even a fake one!
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline PrudenceCP23

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2017, 07:39:07 PM »
We've used the snake trick for about 15 years now. Over those years the rubber snakes have kept almost all the birds off of our boat, and they've even worked for keeping otters out of the cockpit (originally a bigger problem for us than the birds).  We simply put one on the seat of the cockpit and move it around a bit every few weeks.
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Offline Potcake boy

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2017, 10:17:12 PM »
I think someone needs to make a rubber snake with a bobbing head like those solar powered fake potted plants that are so popular with VW Bug owners. Not only would it keep the birds away, but would be great entertainment while drinking the rum. Just sayin'.
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Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2017, 03:20:52 AM »
I had a real snake in the cockpit of my Catalina 30 once.  It was a brown water snake and he was pretty harmless.  I picked him up and got him out of the boat.  I had no idea how it got there.  It is funny, but I did notice that there wasn't any bird stuff on my boat before I removed the snake.  LOL

I think the bobbing head snake would be a fun thing to have.  Then again, we could always go with a drone snake to really  have fun with people at the dock!
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline BruceW

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2017, 07:51:10 AM »
Drone snake with webcam so you can watch from home! hahahaha
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Offline DanM

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2017, 09:07:01 AM »
At our sailing club, ducks (and/or geese)  tend to adopt one boat, or a couple- always the furthest out at the edge of the mooring field- as their home/toilet. Certain boats have needed a major cleaning before every time they are sailed. I've seen boats completely covered in duck poop. It's disgusting and disheartening. Owners have tried everything- hanging CD's or other shiny stuff, plastic owls, wrapping the boat in snow fencing, etc, to little or no avail. I don't know if plastic snakes have been tried, but it seems that birds don't take long to figure out what is alive and what is a decoy. Not a problem for me personally, since the shallow draft of the SunCat puts us in the inner, shallow part of the mooring field (thank you, ComPac)....it's the keel boats like Ensigns that get trashed, as they are assigned to the outer (deeper) parts of the field. The idea under consideration for next season is to moor a derelict boat or two at the  outer edge of the field as a sacrificial platform for the ducks, in the hope they will leave the rest of the boats alone. We'll see if that helps and I'll suggest the snakes, too.
 

Offline cdflan

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Re: Device to keep birds off the top of the mast
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 11:55:30 AM »
Home Depot sells Bird-X and Bird b Gone strips for between $15 and $20 which I've used on top of the anchor light and on the arm of the Raymarine wind sensor attached with some 3M 5200.  Has worked well and the transparent plastic is hardly noticeable.  Previous efforts with snake and owls not effective at all.