October 2013 Issue
Mailport: October 2013
Anybody ever wonder why their wind instruments don’t read the same as they did the weekend before? And did you ever wonder whether those spiky things (bird deterrents) really work? The accompanying photo is a 2- to 3-pound osprey, making masthead instruments his perch in Northport Harbor, Long Island, N.Y.
Dana, Morgan 38
Floral Park, N.Y.
Thanks for sharing the photo. In our last test of bird deterrents (PS, April 2010), we actually found that “those spiky things” protected the smallest area of all the physical exclusion devices we tested, which included plastic and stainless spikes, the Fly Bye Bird Umbrellas, Gull Sweep, and Bird-B-Gone Bird Spider. Testers found bird droppings less than 10 inches from each of the spiked panels. And as you can see from the photo, the only area protected is where the spikes actually are placed, so using them to keep your cockpit or cabin free of bird pooh would mean placing numerous panels of spikes.
Successful bird deterrence is a complex business. One device may work well for seagulls and pelicans, but not so well for cormorants and osprey. Another might protect your deck, but not your lifelines or your rigging. Ultimately, the best approach is to use a mixture of devices.