Do artificial plastic owls keep away birds?

Artificial owls are tools that some consider to be effective in deterring birds. Often made out of plastic and rubber, these owl-like installations are supposed to keep birds away from properties. Birds are normally afraid of owls, as well as many other birds and predators. Many believe that these can help in keeping birds away from trees and homes. Additionally to owls, fake-animal bird deterrents are often shaped to resemble snakes, cats and other animals that hunt birds and that birds fear. But, are these products truly effective? Will placing an artificial owl on your tree, roof or porch keep the birds away?

Birds are afraid of owls and they will stay away from anything resembling them. Those that use artificial animals to deter birds hope to achieve this effect, and many claim that it is successful. Most often used on trees, artificial owls are not only a decorative enchantments to your exterior design. They are also a quite functional tool in keeping your property protected from animals. Artificial animals, including owls, are available for both online and in-store purchases. From a home-owners perspective, they are a good solution, and they also keep the property looking pleasant.

Placing artificial owls to deter birds is possible to be effective, depending on the location and the species of bird you are trying to deter. Most often, larger species of birds do fear and avoid owls, but are not as afraid of them as to avoid roosting in the spot in which the owl is located. On the other hand, smaller bird species are more likely to be scared away with fake owls. There is a heated debate amongst users about the experiences with artificial owls. While some claim that this method is very effective, others have their suspicions.

Does placing artificial owls really works? The answer to this question is both YES and NO. There are situations in which using them might help in handling the problem of annoying birds. However, this method has its limitations. The main downside to using artificial owls for deterring birds is that they don’t have a significant effect on all bird species. Some birds like crows, pigeons and seagulls are not going to scare that easily at the appearance of an owl. In addition to that, a fake animal might attract other animals that climb trees and buildings, which will either play with it or attempt to hunt it. This will destroy the tool, and you might end up having replace it frequently.

Artificial owls work well in situations where you want to deter smaller bird species. If you are annoyed by constant tweeting coming from outside of your home and you don’t want to disturb your landscape with using bird spikes and nets, artificial owls might be a good. However, you need to keep in mind that you are going to have to monitor them and make sure that they didn’t got damaged or knocked down. This can make using this method a bit hard, as it requires more devotion and involvement than other bird-deterring methods. If you are ready for this, and feel like artificial animals might contribute to the beauty of your landscape, than the artificial owls might be a good solution.

There are, however, many other methods that might be more effective in deterring birds than artificial owls. Other, more effective methods include hanging shiny objects, using bird spikes, using netting, electronic boxes, as well as bird fogging. Depending on the bird species and the size of the location, some of these methods might more appropriate than other. In any case, successful bird deterring requires knowledge about the species and choosing a right tool for the particular type of space that birds have invaded. The right method depends on the size of the space, as well as if the space is open or closed.

Bird spikes and netting are good solution for all types of spaces with a few exceptions. While bird spikes are appropriate to use on fences, balconies, roof tops, attics and many other spots, they can prove to be tricky for spaces like wide, high, ceilings and trees. These types of spaces would require a use of extremely large amount of spikes, which could be very expensive and hard to maintain. On the other hand, netting is a good choice for sealing openings in a home that are necessary and can’t be closed, like vents and chimney flues. On the other hand, many people don’t want to cover places like their porch or a balcony with nets, which is why they decide to use spikes.

Electronic boxes are another successful deterrent when it comes to birds. These appliances emit sounds that are supposed to scare the birds away, most often animal calls and other species of birds. Electronic boxes are considered to be very effective in deterring birds, they might be very disturbing for a lot of people. Simply hearing repetitive animal noises throughout the day or night might be just as uncomfortable experience as hearing the birds themselves. These tools would be the most appropriate to use in more solitary areas, like attics and large gardens that don’t have many visitors.

Whichever method you choose to deter birds, you need to keep in mind that it will probably be a process of trial and error, during which you are going to have to discover a most effective method.

Will a plastic owl scare a pigeon? Would you be scared by a plastic human stood in the corner of your living room? OK, admittedly some of us might get a little startled by that once or twice but eventually we'd get used to the plastic human stood in the corner of the living room and it would just blend into the background. It doesn't move. It doesn't do anything. It just sits there. The same thing can be said for a plastic owl in the garden, often used as a way to deter pigeons. The pigeons may be startled by the plastic owl once or twice, but eventually thy'll learn the thing doesn't move, doesn't scare them, and doesn't want to eat them. Eventually it will blend into the background and soon they won't even notice it's there at all. That's why you shouldn't waste your money with silly little gimmicks like plastic owlsthey rarely work and even if they did work, they'd only work for a short space of time. How long do you really think a bird is going to keep away for once it realizes there is nothing moving about that owl? They're dumb animals but they're not that dumb. They're well adapted to living in residential areas remember?

Plastic owls and other dummies/decoys can actually work to deter birds from your property. That’s the good news. The bad news is: they will probably become ineffective very quickly, unless you are prepared to move them from time to time and also use the approach in conjunction with others. 

We often make the mistake in thinking that birds are not clever, but rather are clever enough to learn that a plastic decoy can’t hurt them when it hasn’t moved in three or four days. That’s the case with most deterrents for birds too. By moving them around regularly and switching out the plastic owl for another animal or type of deterrent, you are helping to make them more effective. If you leave them in one place for too long, it won’t be long before the birds ignore the deterrent entirely and then you can no longer use it. 

Using decoys and dummies such as plastic owls also doesn’t effectively solve the problem. If there are other attractants (food, shelter, etc.) on your property, the nuisance birds will continue to come back. Those are the things that you need to work on using more permanent modifications — bird spike strips, bird netting, abatement using falcons, hazing or fogging, or disrupting the reproductive cycle. The latter is frequently used for controlling the populations of Canada geese.