View Full Version : Oh crap ( or how to prevent birds from craping on Tidbit )

Joe (SoCal)
06-26-2011, 02:53 PM
Went to step the mast this morning, rowed out to Tidbit and she was covered in bird crap. I mean COVERED I spend a good part of the mast stepping set up just scrubbing the deck. It's not that hard to clean off but man is it nasty. I got one of those owls after I first saw how much bird crap she got on the mooring, but it seems the birds have figured out that it's a plastic bird.

So what do I do ( and don't say get a cover ;) ) is there any other way to discourage birds from using Tidbit as a port o potty ?

Paul Pless
06-26-2011, 02:54 PM

Chris Coose
06-26-2011, 02:59 PM
Setting the rig is sure to help.
Throw dead fish on to your neighbor's boat.

06-26-2011, 03:17 PM
Apart from a cover, what works round here is, a bunch of old CDs or DVDs strung from the bow to mast to stern via shrouds. They twist and turn in the slightest breeze or rocking motion and the light playing on them deters even the biggest of shytehawk.

06-26-2011, 03:27 PM
The CD's work on some, not here tho. We only get a few flyby droppings- Get a cat, or a cat kinda thing that moves, flops with eyes. They can spot ours half a mile away in the yard. instincts. Owls are up at night ,when the birds are sleeping. They figure out fast it's a good roosting place with them.

Joe (SoCal)
06-26-2011, 03:37 PM
So far I'm liking the dead fish on the neighbors boat idea ;)

06-26-2011, 03:42 PM
Shrink wrap.:d
Seriously many here have a tailor made cover that stretches over the whole boat but it can make it rather awkward getting abourd from a small dinghy.

06-26-2011, 03:51 PM
Go to your local garden center for one of the owls with the "dazzle" eyes. Seems to work well in gardens. Tie it to the mast.

If the owl has bird crap on it, it isn't working.

06-26-2011, 04:25 PM
Perhaps you need a better owl. Here is one from the Lee Valley, US website that moves.

Joe (SoCal)
06-26-2011, 04:38 PM
That's the owl currently covered in bird crap ;)

06-26-2011, 04:42 PM
Take up falconry as a hobby (it is the sport of kings).


06-26-2011, 05:07 PM
Invite a couple of Lind snoring homeless people to sleep on your boat for free.
May be hard to get them to go ashore when you want to sail.
Might work.

Duncan Gibbs
06-26-2011, 05:17 PM
I gotta be the one to say it: Get a cover! ;):D

06-26-2011, 05:17 PM
Does she have spreaders ? If so set up a rolling spreader ,very hard to perch on .

06-26-2011, 05:20 PM
Does she have spreaders ? If so set up a rolling spreader ,very hard to perch on .Perching birds doesn't seem to be the issue (yet). The mast wasn't in till after.


06-26-2011, 05:21 PM
Flying rats? They are protected by law. Even on the water here, they like to live at Mount Trashmore and Micky D's.

Paul Pless
06-26-2011, 05:27 PM
Perching birds doesn't seem to be the issue (yet). The mast wasn't in till after.

Dougprobably have been sitting on the coaming

Chris Coose
06-26-2011, 05:41 PM
Killing 2 dump ducks with one stone; you could just scrape the birdsh!t into the bilge to sop up all that rain water you collect w/o a proper cover.
My buddy Chris got his center console fishing boat in early and because there were very few others in the mooring field, his boat was selected as the lunch spot by the dump ducks. Birds like this have an amazing balance system built in for flight. They take off and fly much better after having left a load on your boat.

06-26-2011, 05:53 PM
The mylar inflatable ball with owl eyes from West Mrine works OK, looks stupid


06-26-2011, 07:56 PM
I've got a sparkly aluminized plastic boa that might work. Not sure where it came from but it looks good in festive settings.

John B
06-26-2011, 10:35 PM
A couple of lines with a few of those those light plastic shopping bags crinkling away and waving through the favourite perch spots.. Worked for me when the owl didn't. There's buzzing lines you can buy for the job too.
You just have to make your boat less comfortable than the ones near by.

06-26-2011, 11:04 PM
Man, the mental image of this marina with all these contraptions flying is hilarious..!!!!! :) :)

Throwing dead fish on other people's boats....funny !! CD's waving in the breeze...priceless..!!! Bird crap everywhere...I sort of picture you a really pissed off Yosemite Sam, guns blazing !!!!

It must look more trashy than a trailer park in Arkansas..!!! :) :)


ian scott
06-27-2011, 03:14 AM
Ha ha. I feel your pain. I swear there has been horse landing on my boat in the past. Oooh the stink too.

The only thing that has worked for us (and we've tried everyhting) is a bird net like those used in orchards. Even then it still lets the swallows past but at least their craps are small.

06-27-2011, 04:09 AM
Moor next to something like this:



Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-27-2011, 04:17 AM
The old CDs idea is often used. The blighters will tend to perch and crap, so two steps can reduce the annoyance without looking odd:

Leave a stick hoisted on the burgee halyards so there's no room for a bird at the top of the mast.

Stretch a taut lenth of twine or light wire from shroud to mast one inch above the spreaders.

06-27-2011, 04:23 AM
CDs by The Carpenters, Bread, Manfred Mann, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Celine Dion, Rick Wakeman et al are particularly repulsive. I suggest trying these. My wife has some - let me know if I can help.

06-27-2011, 05:30 AM
Too bad my first MIL passed away. You could have let her move on board.
Give that little old woman a broom and you'd never see dogs, cats, birds or children anywhere near.
Lucky for me she liked me.


06-27-2011, 05:43 AM
Rename her Guano Maru ?

Joe (SoCal)
06-27-2011, 06:57 AM
Well stepping the mast seemed to help a bit. We went out for sunset cocktails and didn't have to clean guano.


Like my new boom crutch ( it's temporary while I refinish the old one )



It's evening light like this that makes all that varnishing worthwhile


06-27-2011, 07:00 AM
Can't see the boom crutch in photos 2 and 3 but those are the better pics anyway.
Glad to see Tidbit out and about. When's the first sail (with sail) gonna' be?


Joe (SoCal)
06-27-2011, 07:08 AM
Was going to hang the sheets last night but with the fading light and an evening on the waterfront across the bay awaiting we decided to motor over ;)

David W Pratt
06-27-2011, 10:16 AM
What about setting a few mouse traps?
Our daughter used them to keep the dog off the furniture. After conditioning, they didn't even have to be set.
Good luck.

Joe (SoCal)
06-27-2011, 10:55 AM
What about setting a few mouse traps?
Our daughter used them to keep the dog off the furniture. After conditioning, they didn't even have to be set.
Good luck.

Deviously good idea, although Im an animal lover I would hate to find a caught ****e bird

06-27-2011, 11:44 AM
I was jestingly going to suggest an acetylene cannon like used in agricultural fields, but seriously, this might be better...

http://forum.woodenboat.com/%3Cobject%20width=%22640%22%20height=%22390%22%3E% 3Cparam%20name=%22movie%22%20value=%22http://www.youtube.com/v/hDx-mQqzYNw&rel=0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3%22%3E%3C/param%3E%3Cparam%20name=%22allowFullScreen%22%20va lue=%22true%22%3E%3C/param%3E%3Cparam%20name=%22allowScriptAccess%22%20 value=%22always%22%3E%3C/param%3E%3Cembed%20src=%22http://www.youtube.com/v/hDx-mQqzYNw&rel=0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3%22%20type=%22application/x-shockwave-flash%22%20allowfullscreen=%22true%22%20allowScrip tAccess=%22always%22%20width=%22640%22%20height=%2 2390%22%3E%3C/embed%3E%3C/object%3E
Oxy acetylene vortex cannon strong enough to blow a woman's clothes offhttp://www.emmonsnet.org/blog/geek-stuff/86-oxy-acetylene-cortex-cannon-strong-to-blow-a-womans-clothes-off

As an aside, I found this.


06-27-2011, 12:00 PM
Giant floating teepee around your mooring.

Anthony Zucker
06-27-2011, 12:27 PM

Try monofiliment fishing line. Tie it wherever you can to cover the boat an inch or two above the boat when you are not there, You dont seem to have shrouds but there must be some way to attach the stuff.

This takes some time and you have to cut it away to use the boat but the local birds catch on quickly and wont try to land there again. After three weeks they'll have learned.

Chris Coose
06-27-2011, 12:48 PM
Rig the topping lift and the lazy jacks, the sail and the sail cover and I don't see how they get to land on your boom. That leaves the foredeck which is about one square foot of slope. Did they get to you in the past when you were fully rigged?