Keeping Birds Away From Your Aerial
Every homeowner with a TV aerial knows the familiar sight: birds perched high up, taking in the view or chatting amongst themselves. While it might seem harmless or even picturesque, having birds settle on your TV aerial is more problematic than you might think.
Why? For starters, our feathered visitors might interfere with your TV reception. Ever experienced sudden signal disruptions? Birds might be the culprits. Then, there’s the unavoidable mess of bird droppings. This stains and damages rooftops and can become a potential health concern over time. And, of course, let’s not forget the early morning chirping and fluttering, which can be a noisy alarm for some.
Our aim is simple: to offer practical and effective solutions to deter these birds from your TV aerial, ensuring a cleaner roof, uninterrupted TV time, and a peaceful morning.
Why Do Birds Like TV Aerials?
A High Spot to Sit and Look Around
Birds love to have an overview of their surroundings. An aerial, one of the tallest structures on most houses, offers them a panoramic view. They can spot potential food sources from such a height, watch out for predators, or enjoy the view. Think of it as their version of a lookout tower.
A Warm Place
Surprisingly, some TV aerials emit a bit of heat, especially when they’ve been basking in the sun all day. This warmth can be quite inviting for birds, especially in cooler weather. It’s like us finding a warm spot on a cold day—cosy and comfortable.
A Safe Place to Build Nests
Lastly, aerials are seen by birds as safe nesting spots. They are high off the ground, which means fewer predators can reach them. The structure of some aerials can also provide shelter from elements like wind and rain. For a bird, finding a protected tree branch in the urban jungle is like finding a protected tree branch.
How to Keep Birds Away
So now that we understand why birds are drawn to our TV aerials, the next step is determining how to deter them gently. Here are some methods to consider:
The main idea is to prevent birds from comfortably landing or nesting.
Bird Spikes or Strips
Bird spikes serve as a physical barrier. When mounted onto the aerial, the upward-pointing spikes create an uneven and uncomfortable surface, making it challenging for birds to find a stable spot to land or perch. Notably, the design isn’t intended to wound or harm the birds. The goal is to make the surface less inviting for them to settle. When birds attempt to rest on these spikes, they quickly realize there’s no flat or comfortable area, prompting them to look elsewhere for a more welcoming space.
The installation process is also relatively straightforward. The spikes often come with a base that can be affixed to various surfaces, including the aerials. Depending on the design, some might employ adhesives for attachment, while others might utilize clamps or ties.
Bird Netting or Mesh
One of the most effective ways to keep birds off your aerial is also among the priciest, making it less ideal for household use. Properly installed netting can block birds from accessing and nesting in areas you wish to protect. This solution involves using a simple mesh made of materials like nylon or plastic, which you install around the desired area. When set up correctly, it should stop birds from approaching the location, let alone nesting there. While cost is a factor, another consideration is visibility. The netting will be noticeable from the ground, meaning you’ll also need to set up supports on your roof to keep it secure.
Also known as pigeon repellant gel. When birds come into contact with a surface treated with repellent gel, they experience a sticky sensation on their feet. This tactile disturbance is off-putting for them, prompting them to avoid landing on the gel-treated area in the future. It’s essential to emphasize that these gels are made to be non-toxic, and they won’t injure or harm the birds. Their purpose is purely to discourage, not to hurt.
The efficacy of the gel persists for quite sometime after application. Depending on the specific product and the prevailing environmental conditions, a single application can deter birds for several months. However, inspecting the treated area regularly and reapplying as needed is a good idea to ensure the gel remains effective.
Sometimes, the best offence is a good defence. Birds can be coaxed away from the aerial by providing alternative spots or distractions.
Utilizing a bird statue, particularly of predatory species like hawks or owls, is a traditional method to discourage smaller birds from perching or nesting near structures like aerials. The principle behind this is simple: many smaller birds have an innate fear of these predators, and when they spot one nearby, they instinctively steer clear and seek safer grounds.
When you fit a statue of such a bird near an aerial, it acts as a visual deterrent. The looming presence of what appears to be a predatory bird serves as a warning sign for other birds. This imitation predator can create an illusion of danger, making the area around the aerial seem less attractive to potential perching birds.
Hawk kites are innovative devices designed to mimic the appearance and movement of birds of prey, primarily hawks, in the sky. By leveraging the natural avian instinct to avoid predators, hawk kites effectively deter smaller birds from approaching or nesting in particular areas.
The mechanism behind hawk kites is their dynamic movement. Unlike static statues or models, hawk kites flutter, soar, and dive in the wind, resembling real hawks’ natural flight patterns. This lifelike movement, coupled with the predatory silhouette of the kite, can instil fear and caution in smaller birds. The mere sight of what appears to be a hunting bird of prey can trigger their survival instincts, leading them to seek safer territories.
In this modern age, technology offers some unique solutions.
Use a Crank Mast Over the Roof for Aerial Installation
Instead of a straightforward pole, consider having aerial technicians use a crank mast for your TV aerial installation. A crank mast, which has a deliberate bend in its design, can position the antenna over the roof. This strategic placement ensures that bird droppings fall mainly on the roof rather than on pathways or other areas below. However, this method’s feasibility largely depends on the TV transmitter’s direction and the TV aerial’s specific location.
Consider a Satellite Dish as an Alternative
Many homeowners search for practical solutions when faced with the persistent issue of birds perching on aerials. While various methods, such as bird netting or spikes, can be effective, they often come with added costs and maintenance. Suppose you’re looking for a more holistic solution that addresses the issue without recurring expenses. In that case, a satellite dish might be the answer you’ve been seeking.
When installing a satellite dish, carefully considering its placement is essential. The idea is to strike a balance where the dish remains out of reach for birds while ensuring a clear signal. The satellite dish should have an unobstructed line of sight to the sky for optimal reception. This means ensuring no nearby obstructions like tall buildings, trees, or other structures could interfere with the signal.
Switching to a satellite dish provides a solution to the bird issue. It also offers other benefits, such as a broader range of channels and improved picture quality. It’s a change that addresses the immediate problem and could also enhance your TV viewing experience.