How To Get Rid Of Birds: Natural And Humane Ways To Deter Birds

Birds can be a nuisance when they invade your space, make noise, or leave droppings everywhere. However, birds play an important role in the ecosystem, so you don’t want to harm them. This comprehensive guide covers natural, humane methods to humanely keep birds away from your home, garden, or yard.

We’ll provide tips ranging from simple scare tactics to more advanced bird control techniques.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The best humane ways to get rid of birds include using decoys and reflective deterrents, installing physical barriers, applying smell or taste repellents, and leveraging sounds to scare them away.

Use Visual Deterrents

When it comes to deterring birds from your property, visual deterrents can be an effective and humane solution. These methods rely on visual stimuli to create a sense of danger or unease for the birds, discouraging them from nesting or roosting in the area.

Scarecrows, Decoys, Flash Tape, and Shiny Objects

One popular visual deterrent is the use of scarecrows or decoys. These human-like figures are placed in strategic locations to create the illusion of a human presence, scaring away birds. Additionally, flash tape and shiny objects such as aluminum foil or reflective bird diverters can create a dazzling effect when they catch the sunlight, making birds uncomfortable and deterring them from the area.

According to a study conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the use of scarecrows and decoys can significantly reduce bird damage in agricultural fields by up to 80%. This is a testament to the effectiveness of visual deterrents in bird control.

Reflective Surfaces like Old CDs or Mirrored Film

Another visual deterrent that can be easily implemented is the use of reflective surfaces. Hanging old CDs or attaching mirrored film to windows can create flashes of light and movement, scaring birds away.

The unpredictable nature of the reflections can disrupt their flight patterns and make them feel uneasy.

In fact, a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that the use of reflective surfaces reduced bird collisions with windows by up to 85%. This demonstrates the effectiveness of this method in preventing birds from colliding with windows and causing harm to themselves.

Fake Predatory Eyes to Trigger Instinctual Fear

Birds have a natural fear of predators, and leveraging this instinct can be an effective way to deter them. One method is to use fake predatory eyes, which can be placed strategically around your property to create the illusion of a predator’s presence.

Birds will perceive this as a threat and avoid the area.

Research conducted by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom showed that the presence of fake predatory eyes reduced seabird predation on fish by up to 82%. This highlights the effectiveness of visual deterrents in triggering instinctual fear and deterring birds from certain areas.

For more information on bird deterrents and effective ways to keep birds away from your property, you can visit or

Install Physical Barriers

Netting over gardens, ponds, or outdoor areas

One effective way to deter birds from your gardens, ponds, or outdoor areas is by installing netting. This physical barrier prevents birds from accessing these areas and causing damage. Netting is particularly useful for protecting fruits, vegetables, and other plants from being eaten or damaged by birds.

It is important to choose a netting material with small enough openings to prevent birds from getting through.

Pro Tip: When installing netting, make sure it is properly secured and taut to prevent birds from getting entangled or trapped.

Bird spikes on ledges, rafters, or fences

Another effective way to deter birds from perching or roosting in unwanted areas is by installing bird spikes. These spikes are typically made of durable materials like stainless steel and are designed to discourage birds from landing on ledges, rafters, fences, or other surfaces.

Bird spikes create an uncomfortable and unstable surface for birds, making it less desirable for them to land or perch.

Did You Know: Bird spikes are humane and do not cause harm to birds. They simply deter them from landing in certain areas.

Chicken wire wrapped around plants

If you have specific plants that birds are targeting, wrapping them with chicken wire can be an effective solution. The wire acts as a physical barrier, preventing birds from accessing and damaging the plants.

Chicken wire can be easily shaped and molded around plants, allowing them to grow while still being protected from birds.

Expert Tip: Make sure the chicken wire is securely fastened to the ground to prevent birds from sneaking underneath.

When it comes to deterring birds, installing physical barriers is an effective and humane approach. By using netting, bird spikes, or chicken wire, you can protect your gardens, outdoor areas, and plants from bird-related damage.

Apply Smell and Taste Repellents

When it comes to deterring birds from your property, utilizing smell and taste repellents can be an effective and humane approach. By utilizing strong-scented citrus, garlic, or mint oils, you can create an environment that birds find unappealing.

These oils can be applied to areas where birds tend to gather, such as windowsills, ledges, or trees. The potent aroma emitted by these oils can help deter birds from landing or roosting in these areas.

Strong-scented citrus, garlic, or mint oils

One effective method is to mix a few drops of citrus, garlic, or mint oil with water in a spray bottle and apply the mixture to surfaces where birds are causing a nuisance. Be sure to reapply the solution periodically, as the scent may fade over time.

The strong smells of these oils are known to repel birds and discourage them from returning to the treated areas.

Bitter-tasting liquid bird deterrent products

Another option is to use bitter-tasting liquid bird deterrent products. These products are designed to make surfaces taste unpleasant to birds, discouraging them from landing or perching. These deterrents can be applied to surfaces such as ledges, railings, and rooftops, creating an unappealing environment for birds.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products to ensure their effectiveness and safety.

Predator urine like coyotes, foxes, etc.

Using predator urine, such as that of coyotes or foxes, can also deter birds from your property. Birds have a natural fear of predators, and the scent of urine can create a sense of danger in their minds.

By strategically placing predator urine around your property, you can create a perception of threat that birds will want to avoid. However, it is important to note that predator urine should be used with caution and in accordance with local regulations.

While these smell and taste repellents can be effective in deterring birds, it is important to maintain consistency and reapply them as needed. Additionally, it may be helpful to combine these repellents with other methods, such as visual deterrents or physical barriers, to create a comprehensive bird control strategy for your property.

Use Auditory Bird Scaring

When it comes to deterring birds from your property, auditory bird scaring techniques can be highly effective. By utilizing specific noise-making devices, you can create an environment that is unappealing to birds and encourages them to seek refuge elsewhere.

Noise makers like cracker shells, alarms, or whistles

One popular method is the use of noise makers, such as cracker shells, alarms, or whistles. These devices emit loud and unexpected sounds that startle birds and make them uncomfortable. The sudden noise disrupts their natural behavior and encourages them to find a quieter and safer location.

It’s important to note that the use of noise makers should be done responsibly and with consideration for the surrounding environment. Be mindful of noise regulations and the potential impact on your neighbors.

Ultrasonic high-frequency devices

Another option is the use of ultrasonic high-frequency devices. These gadgets emit ultrasonic sound waves that are beyond the range of human hearing but can be detected by birds. The high-frequency sound is irritating to birds, causing them to feel anxious and disoriented.

Ultrasonic devices are an innovative and humane approach to bird deterrence. They are also safe for other animals and humans, making them a popular choice for those looking for a non-invasive solution.

Recordings of predator calls to cause avoidance

One clever way to deter birds is by playing recordings of predator calls. Birds have a natural instinct to avoid areas where they sense the presence of predators. By playing these audio recordings, you can create the illusion of a predator nearby, causing birds to stay away.

There are various predator calls available, from falcons and hawks to owls and even snakes. By rotating the recordings or using a combination of different predator calls, you can keep birds on their toes and discourage them from settling in your space.

Remember, while auditory bird scaring techniques can be effective, it’s important to combine them with other methods to maximize their impact. For example, combining auditory deterrents with visual deterrents like scarecrows or reflective objects can create a more comprehensive bird deterrence strategy.

For more information on bird deterrence techniques, you can visit Audubon or BirdLife International.

Modify Bird Behavior

When it comes to deterring birds from your property, one effective approach is to modify their behavior. By making changes to the environment, you can discourage birds from nesting, roosting, and feeding in areas where they are not welcome.

Eliminate food sources like open compost or pet food

One of the first steps to modify bird behavior is to remove any open food sources that may be attracting them. Birds are opportunistic feeders and will flock to areas where they can easily find food. This includes open compost piles, uncovered pet food bowls, or spilled birdseed.

By eliminating these food sources, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of birds frequenting your property.

Regularly clean areas to remove nesting debris

Birds often build nests in and around buildings, which can lead to a variety of issues such as damage to property and unsightly messes. Regularly cleaning areas where birds commonly nest can help deter them from returning.

This includes removing any nesting debris, such as twigs, feathers, and droppings. By keeping these areas clean, you send a signal to the birds that they are not welcome.

Trim trees/shrubs to eliminate roosting spots

Trees and shrubs provide birds with shelter and roosting spots. By trimming back branches and foliage, you can make these areas less appealing for birds to roost. Be sure to consult with a professional tree trimmer or arborist to ensure that you are trimming the trees and shrubs in a safe and responsible manner.

Modifying bird behavior requires a combination of proactive measures and ongoing maintenance. By taking steps to eliminate food sources, regularly clean nesting areas, and trim trees and shrubs, you can create an environment that is less attractive to birds.

Remember, it is important to approach bird deterrence in a humane and ethical manner, respecting the natural behaviors and habitats of these creatures.


Deterring birds in a safe, cruelty-free manner requires an integrated pest management approach. Combining multiple humane techniques tailored to your situation will train birds to avoid your space without causing harm.

With some persistence and creativity, you can effectively get rid of problematic birds for good.

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