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Re: [TowerTalk] Birds on antennas

To: "Jim Lux" <>, <>,<>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Birds on antennas
From: "Jim Jarvis" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 20:24:02 -0400
List-post: <>
Yo, Cannon-guy...Nice shooting.
I can honestly say I've never caused a swat team to be

However, I can also say that I have seen birds SITTING
on the head of a plastic owl, hoisted on a haliard, and
hanging in the foretriangle of a 35' sailboat.

Followed by the owner jerking the haliard to dislodge
the bird...resulting in a responding fecal discharge,
and a fracture of the owl's attachment point to the

Result:  Owner hit directly by said fecal discharge AND falling
plastic owl...and one haliard stuck at the masthead.
Score:  Bird 3, human 0.

Nature is a mother.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Lux []
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 19:59
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Birds on antennas

At 04:43 PM 8/29/2005, Jim Jarvis wrote:

>There have been a lot of comments, but this topic is not much
>different from birds on sailboats...  so here goes:
>*  Birds are smart.  Plastic owls are not.  Not even when their
>         little heads bob, and they face North.  They don't work,
>         at least, not for long.

And there's a lot of species dependence

>*  CD's seem to....a string of them between the headstay and mast,
>         and somewhere aft, or along the lifelines, seems to work.
>         The reflections annoy the birds.  But they wll probably be
>         altogether too visible and annoying for humans, as well.

They use fluttery mylar tape to keep birds out of vineyards, but it's not a
100% solution.. maybe 95%.

>*  Safety reasons seem to preclude shooting 'em.  Yet, air rifles
>         or pellet guns might have sufficiently limited range to be
>         effective.  Or, possibly slingshots.  Check your local laws
>         regarding weapons discharge, and see what the police recommend.

There's also the "Federal Migratory Bird Act" or something like that... big
time no-no to harass certain species of birds. Not just Bald Eagles, but a
whole raft of birds fit in this category. Almost all carnivores would be
included (including TVs)

>*  Loose tubing is an interesting idea.  But unless you can cover
>         the entire antenna with it, birds will eventually figure out
>         what's not going to dump them every time they land.

Monofilament strung above the area of interest seems to discourage seagulls
and pigeons, which are quite persistent.  You string the line a few inches
above the thing they want to sit on.  You might have to replace it
periodically.  The local seaside restaurants use it.

Maybe some little supports epoxied to the antenna and a web of monofilament
strung between them?

>*  How about shooting paper wads from a shotgun?  Should be safe..
>         particularly if cleared with law enforcement in advance.
>         Question is whether they'd carry to the tower top.
>*  and finally...I was requested to shoot a bow and arrow over a tree,
>         in Chevy Chase MD, in order to properly elevate a 160m antenna.
>         After some inspection, I declined.  It's a weapon...and discharge
>         illegal.  Entirely too suburban to avoid hitting something
> unintended.

Same might apply to things like pneumatic tennis ball/potato cannons.

A LOT depends on who lives around the area and what the local gendarmes are
like, and what's happened recently.  Several years ago, I had the
misfortune to be testing (perfectly legally, at work, in a M-1 zoned (heavy
manufacturing) area) something resembling a cannon a week after a huge
shootout hostage situation at a bank with automatic weapons and hundreds of
officers involved.  When the SWAT team showed up at the shop they were in a
"ask questions later" kind of mode.


See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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