How to (Safely) Deter Nuisance Birds From Perching
Birds can make a mess if they perch in undesirable places. Get expert tips to deter birds from perching and manage aggressive birds.
“My mailbox is constantly soiled by robins and other birds that love to sit on it. Is there anything I can do to deter them?” asks Birds & Blooms reader Mady Breeden of Bear, Delaware.
Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman say, “Birds in our yards bring joy to our lives, but in some places their waste can be problematic. Fortunately, harmless products are available to prevent birds from perching in certain areas. These range from strips of flexible spikes to small reflective spinners that can be mounted in place. Or you might try a floral arrangement made specifically to attach to a mailbox; you could add a reflective spinner to seasonal flowers.
Be sure to check with your local post office, though, before altering your mailbox. And never use glue traps or other products that can seriously harm birds.
Learn how to get rid of blackbirds and grackles at feeders.
Readers Share Tips to Safely Deter Aggressive Birds
“My favorite bird feeder has customizable perches and a large slippery dome. Heavier birds are too big for the feeder, and squirrels slide right off!” says Pat Brown of Springfield, Virginia.
“Upside-down suet feeders mostly attract nuthatches and woodpeckers, not bullies,” says Jennifer Broadstreet Hess of Marion, Kansas.
“Rock pigeons mobbed my feeders, so I bought green vinyl-coated wire mesh with 2-by-3-inch holes to surround the trays. Small songbirds get in, but pigeons can’t!” says Andrew Rivinus of Canby, Oregon.
“I only use safflower seeds! Grackles (and squirrels) don’t like them, but they attract cardinals, finches, chickadees and more,” says Laurin McCarley of Clover, South Carolina.
“I keep aggressive hummingbirds to a minimum by placing multiple feeders in my front yard and a few in the back. Bullies can’t be in two places at once, so the others get a chance to sip nectar too!” says Rebecca McLaughlin of Flatwoods, Kentucky.
Next, check out the best squirrel-proof bird feeders and 12 tips that work.