Nothing disrupts a good day of fishing more than pesky birds. Seagulls will eat your burley and try to steal your bait, as well as making a huge mess and racket while they’re at it. But there are some options available for keeping the birds at bay.
Gulls are opportunistic birds that will come back if there is any possibility of food being available. Try to reduce the amount of burley that’s accessible to the birds on top of the water and keep your bait covered.
Research has shown seagulls don’t like the colour red, to the point of not eating food left on red feeders. You can try wearing a red hat or tying an old shirt to the boat to stop the pests, but their persistence may require more than a ‘shoo’. If your boat is moored, you will want to keep the shorebirds off as well otherwise you will return to a mess every trip. Here are a few gadgets that will keep birds away and allow you to enjoy a clean and peaceful day on the water.
Seagull predators include bigger birds like owls, hawks and peregrines. Landfills around the world have successfully used predatory birds to clear the open pits of the scavenging birds.
Luckily, you can get the same effect without becoming a bird handler. The StopGull Falcon is an aeronautical fabric falcon that performs ‘flights’ of up to 10 metres, casting its shadow and silhouette even further. The falcon comes with a 7-metre telescopic mast and invisible rope.
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Movement triggers fear in birds so anything that spins, waves or bounces in the wind can deter the birds from landing on your boat.
The StopGull Air has flags at either end of a bar that rotates in the wind to prevent birds from landing on recreational and commercial boats. There is a range of different support attachments available for securing the device to any surface on your boat. When not in use, you can easily fold it up or take it out of the base for storing.
The StopGull S27 is an eight-pronged mount that can be installed on critical items of your boat to prevent birds landing on them such as mast tops, navigational lights and mast spreaders. The Stopgull S27 is easy to install with the supplied double-sided adhesive.
The StopGull Air Keeper features ten rods that move in the wind and and prevent landings on radars, antennas, lamp posts and other larger marine installations.
Cleaning up the Mess
If the birds have already landed and made a mess, you will want to clean it properly. Your boat’s finish is at risk of being damaged if droppings are left for too long.
There are several health risks as well as bird droppings can carry E coli, Chlamydia psittaci and drug-resistant bacteria. The Chlamydia psittaci bacteria can cause Psittacosis in humans who have inhaled the bacteria from dried secretions and droppings of infected birds. Antibiotics are needed to treat fever, chills, headache and muscle aches caused by Psittacosis.
Bird and Spider Remover can dissolve the droppings without harsh scrubbing and won’t damage fibreglass, painted, waxed or polished surfaces. To stay safe while cleaning bird droppings, it is best to wear a mask and gloves and to wash your hands thoroughly when finished.
If you have any queries about any seagull deterrent products, contact Boat Accessories Australia on 1300 308 161 or send us an email.