How To Deter & Keep Birds Away From My Antenna/ TV Aerial
I love my wildlife but as a professional TV/ Sat installer birds can be a real pain. On more than one occasion I have had to abandon installations because birds had nested nearby and/ or were swooping down on me whilst I was trying to work. I even once received a call from someone asking me to remove a dead bird from their roof. From a birds point of view, a TV aerial must look like an ideal perch. I am writing this blog as I was specifically asked this question by someone e-mailing it to me, so I thought I would do my best to give some help and advice to keep birds away from your TV aerial and keeping them from leaving their droppings all over your property. Let’s begin.
Bird-spikes are perhaps the easiest and quickest way to deter birds from settling on your roof and on your TV/ radio antenna and are relatively inexpensive to buy. Bird-spikes are spikes that can be siliconed directly to your roof and/ or cable-tied onto your aerial. Once in position,they make it difficult for birds to settle/ walk on your TV aerial. I recommend installing cable ties on all the horizontal parts of your aerial that would potentially provide a perch for birds. This includes the aerial boom, boom-arm(if it has one), elements, back-reflector and brackets. When fitted bird-spikes to TV aerials I would be generous with the cable ties as these can become brittle and break over time so you don’t want them coming loose, you may even want to consider a few wraps of insulation tape.
You may want to install bird spikes on the areas nearby the aerial too, like in and around the chimney stack and along the ridge tiles. You must use a special low-modulus adhesive for this task as standard silicone will not work very well. Bird spikes come in different varieties, some are made from plastic and others from stainless steel. They come in different amounts of spikes and sizes with some marketed for larger birds like seagulls which you may have problems with in your area, on the south coast here they can cause lots of problems and other smaller spikes marketed towards birds like pigeons.
Bird Hawk Kites
Bird Hawk Kits have become very popular in recent years, especially in places like car-showroom forecourts where the owners understandably do not want bird droppings all over shiny cars that they want to sell. A bird-kite is a kite attached to the building, which will blow around in the wind and mimic a real bird of prey, like a hawk. This is usually enough to deter other birds like seagulls.
Although bird-kites can be very successful at deterring birds from your roof and aerials they are not supposed to be out in very high winds.After doing a bit of research it seems that bird deterrent kits should not be out in high winds beyond 25mph and should be not left in position permanently as birds you wish to deter can become accustomed to seeing them. This means that you may have to get used to taking the kite down and putting back up periodically.
Another method I have seen for deterring birds is to install a bird deterrent statue, like an owl or hawk up near the aerial antennas to keep the real birds away from this location. These could be installed onto pole mounts like that is used for TV aerials. I have seen bird statues/models use with varying success I have been up by chimneys beside a model owl only to find a birds-nest immediately beside it, seems the birds are not always easily fooled.
Perhaps the most successful way at keeping the birds away but also one of the most expensive, making it not always viable for domestic scenarios. A netting when installed correctly can block access to birds and birds nesting keeping them away from areas you wish to protect.
Other Methods For Limiting Bird Mess/ Droppings From Aerials
A thing that is quite common is when a TV aerial has been installed in a location (usually a wall) that is directly above an entrance, or a path or parked car. The perch themselves on the antenna itself and mess allover places where you don’t want them to. The following can be used to limit this.
Move The Aerial/ Antenna
If the aerial is causing bird-mess in places that you do not want. You may want to consider moving the aerial to a location which is not accessible to nearby birds or one that stops the bird droppings in the places you do not want them. If you’re in a relatively good signal area, you may want to consider moving the aerial into the loft where the birds can’t get at it. If the aerial is on a wall, you may want to consider moving the antenna to the chimney if you have one so that the droppings collect in this location, rather than on your pathways or on your car.
Install Aerial Onto Crank Mast Over The Roof
A technique that has been used by most aerial installers at some point is, rather than install the aerial onto a straight mast but install the aerial onto a crank mast which has a bend in it which can be used so that the antenna itself is sited above the roof so if the birds do sit on it the bird mess will be mostly confined to the roof rather than over your pathways etc. This is not always possible as it depends on which direction the TV transmitter is and the way the TV aerial alignment, but this may be suitable for you. This method could be combined with the installation of bird-spikes to reduce the bird-mess dramatically. There are a few different types of crank masts like a swans-neck and a double crank so I recommend that you do some research before purchasing a mast. I do also recommend to buy a crank mast that is at least a minimum 1.25” diameter mast as the 1” versions are flimsy and prone to snapping.
You could instead of installing a crank mast, clamp a section of mast with a 2” clamp/ 8 nut clamp so that this replicates the distance offset by the crank mast. I recommend only doing this with a 2” diameter mast as there will be an increased wind loading on the mast itself and could could the mast to wobble a bit more in winds/ gales.
Install A Satellite Dish Instead
If you have exhausted all other methods and/ or do not want to pay for expensive bird netting or something similar, you could just remove the aerial installation altogether and get your TV signal via a satellite dish instead. Satellite dishes have the advantage is usually being able to be installed relatively low down on a wall so that birds will not perch on it, this is assuming that you do not have nearby obstructions blocking signal line of sight like nearby neighbouring buildings and trees. I won’t go into great detail here as I have already covered in previous articles but a free TV service very similar to Freeview can be received free of charge in the UK called Freesat, sometimes branded Freetime. In Ireland you have the option of choosing Soarsat instead of Soarview. You could also choose to get Sky installed if you’re looking for a bit extra, like if you’re leaving BT Vision. Below is some further viewing should you wish to pursue this route.
Questions - In Blog Comments Section Only Please
It was a bit of a break from the norm this article and I hoped that you liked it. If you have any questions relating to this blog please post them in the Blog Comments section directly below and I will get back as soon as possible. Please note that we are not a professional company offering bird- services but we can install aerials to reduce unwanted bird mess and things like bird-spikes on aerials.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL OUR TELEPHONE LINES WITH YOUR QUESTIONS - We do not offer over the phone free technical support and I just do not have the time to offer this type of service, please do not call we unless you wish to book an installation or quote in Sussex/ Kent only.
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That being said I will help where I can, until next time.
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