What to do about bird poo? That is the big question…….
Now, normally I would encourage birds to be on boats, lots of them, but just not the flying , feathered kind, they can be and are, a real pain !!
Strange as it may sound, i am somewhat of an expert in bird poo, keeping birds off boats, pontoons and jetties. It became a hobby of mine since i owned my own boat and was distort to find bird poo, chicken wings, left over fish and feathers all over my pride and joy.
I managed a marina in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. The marina runs over 260 swing moorings 40 fixed berths in the bay. If only I had a dollar for every depressed client that cried on my should when they went out to their boat only to find it un usable, I would be a wealthy man casue there were plenty of tears.
Some of the boats were left for only a night and we couldn’t count how many droppings were on them as there were so many, some left for months , but not touched at all. My clients all wanted a solution, and so did I , and so started my quest. To become an expert in Seagulls and to find a solution that actually worked and kept the boats bird poo free.
The droppings are of course, unsightly, but its more than that. The germs and disease that the birds carry, and the contents of their droppings are not healthy at all. If you do
Besides being a nuisance and defacing homes, boats, buildings and monuments, pest birds also pose a serious health hazard. Because of their easy and far-reaching mobility, they can vector an alarming variety of serious diseases. Among these are histoplasmosis (a lung disease that can be fatal if untreated), salmonella, ornithosis (a lower or upper respiratory disease resulting in fever, chills and headache), pseudotuberculosis (causing fever and abdominal pain), and several other diseases, including West Nile Virus via parasites (like fleas and mites) that live on their bodies or grow in their droppings.
If you want to scare birds away, it helps to know a little about the birds we regard as pests. The first of our fine-feathered friends is the pigeon. Initially introduced from Europe as pets, pigeon populations have expanded almost exponentially and are now considered by many to be pests. These birds congregate in huge numbers and contaminate public areas with their droppings. They deface both
Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea. The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large White-Headed Gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the Herring Gull. Wow , that can be a long time of poos !!
Gulls nest in large, densely packed noisy colonies. They lay two to three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are precocial, being born with dark mottled down, and mobile upon hatching.Gulls—the larger species in particular—are resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure. For example, many gull colonies display mobbing behaviour, attacking and harassing would-be predators and other intruders. Don’t we know it in Spring…. Certain species (e.g. the Herring Gull) have exhibited tool use behaviour, using pieces of bread as bait with which to catch goldfish, for example. Many species of gull have learned to coexist successfully with humans and have thrived in human habitats. Others rely on scavenging to get their food. Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck out pieces of flesh.
I have also seen them work in groups to wear down new born ducklings, cormorants, geese and other water born birds , pecking at them in large numbers till they die and then tearing them apart. These birds stop at nothing to get the job done.
Forget trying to move them on in breeding season Sept to Jan each year ( in Australia ) . Once they nest, they will defend it to the end. That means very aggressive behaviour and dangerous for boaties that are trying to get out to their boat that they have not visited all winter!. So learn from this…..Get them off your boat, dock or jetty BEFORE they start to mate….in the winter months and late summer.
So now we understand them a bit more, what can we do about them.?
There are some simple tricks that i have learnt in my time on the waterfront observing the birds on boats. Here are some of my best tips and tricks to beating the Gullfest on your boat and keeping birds off your boats. ( TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR MORE TIPS AND TRICKS THAT ARE COMING >>>>>>>)