How to Stop a Bird from Perching

Nora Mayers

Birds are fun to watch and enjoy, but when they perch in the wrong places, they stop being quite so wonderful. It's not difficult to keep birds from perching in undesirable areas, but you'll have to use some ingenuity and a little bit of elbow grease to make your deterrents effective.

Birds of a Feather Can Be Pests
  1. Determine why the birds are perching. Birds perch, settle and build nests because the area provides food, water, shelter or safety. Birds can be attracted by reflections or shiny objects. When you figure out why the birds are perching, then you can work toward eliminating the attraction.

  2. Pick your deterrent. Birds can become pests if there is abundant food near their chosen spot, so block or eliminate the food source. If the birds feel safe, shake up their world with fake predators, such as a fake owl, pinwheels or big balloons with eyes drawn on them. If birds are burrrowing in your eaves or storm drains, screens can block their access to those areas.

  3. Prepare your deterrent. Buy ready-made spike strips, or create them yourself with a board, a drill and nails (see Resources). Draw huge eyes on balloons. Cut pieces of screen that will fit into eaves or storm drains.

  4. Position the deterrent. Place your deterrents near enough to the birds' perching or nesting sites to be effective. If you are using window spikes, fasten them down with glue or nails. When using pinwheels, which are lightweight and easily blown away, bury the base deep enough in sand or dirt to keep them secure. Tie the balloons with eyes painted on them close to the area where the birds congregate. Secure netting around any plants that the birds are feeding on, if those plants cannot be removed. Cover car rear-view mirrors or other shiny objects with cloth.

  5. Change the location of the deterrent frequently. Birds will become accustomed to scare devices, so move or change them frequently. Scarecrows and other similar objects become ineffective once the birds realize the objects are harmless.


Hang plastic strips at the entry of open sheds and barns. Birds think the strips are a closed door and will not enter.


Glue traps are inhumane and can be messy. Chemicals can create hazards to other wildlife, plants and people.