Keep Birds away from Your Antenna / TV Aerial
Birds can be a major nuisance for a TV/Sat installer. More than once I’ve had to abandon an installation because a bird had nestled nearby or was swooping on me while I was working. One time, I was asked to remove a dead pigeon from a roof. A TV aerial would seem like a perfect perch to a bird. This blog was written because I received an email asking me this specific question. I decided to do my best to provide some advice and help to keep birds from landing on your TV aerial.
Bird-spikes can be purchased for a relatively low price and are an easy and quick way to keep birds away from your roof or your radio/ TV antenna. Bird-spikes can be cable-tied to your aerial or siliconed directly onto your roof. Once installed, they make it hard for birds to walk or settle on your TV aerial. Install cable ties to all horizontal parts of the aerial that could provide perches for birds. Included in this are the aerial boom, boom arm (if there is one), elements and brackets. If you are fitting bird-spikes on TV aerials, I recommend using plenty of cable ties. These can be brittle over time and may break. You don’t want these to come loose.
Install bird spikes in the area around the aerial, such as the chimney stack or along the ridge tiles. This task requires a low-modulus silicone adhesive. Standard silicone won’t work. Some bird spikes are made of plastic, while others are stainless steel. There are different sizes and amounts of spikes. Some are marketed to larger birds such as seagulls, which may cause problems in your area. On the south coast they can be a problem.
Bird Hawk Kites
Bird Hawk Kits are very popular these days, especially on car showroom forecourts. Owners do not want bird droppings to ruin their shiny new cars. Bird-kites are kites attached to a building that mimic real birds of prey like hawks. It is enough to scare away other birds, like seagulls.
After doing some research, it appears that bird-deterrent kits shouldn’t be used in winds exceeding 25mph. They should also not be left out permanently because birds can get used to them. You may need to become accustomed to taking down the kite and putting it back up at regular intervals.
Bird (Deterrent Statue)
A bird deterrent like a hawk or an owl can be installed near the antennas. This will keep real birds from coming to this area. They could be mounted on pole mounts similar to those used for TV aerials. I’ve seen birds statues/models used with varying degrees of success. I’ve been by chimneys and found a nest right next to a model owl.
It is the most effective way to keep birds away, but it’s also the most expensive. This makes it unsuitable for most domestic situations. When installed correctly, a netting can prevent birds from nesting and gaining access to your desired area. Bird netting is a big investment but something to consider if you are protecting valuable assets.
It is not uncommon to find a TV antenna installed directly above an entry, a road or a parked vehicle. They perch on the antenna and spread mud all over places you don’t wish them to. This can be controlled by using the following.
You can move the aerial / antenna
If you don’t want bird droppings on your property, move the aerial. Consider moving the aerial into a place that is out of reach for nearby birds, or where the bird droppings are not visible. You may consider moving your aerial to the loft if you are in an area with a good signal. Birds cannot reach it. You may consider moving your aerial to your chimney, if it is mounted on the wall. This will allow the bird droppings to collect there, instead of on your car or pathways.
Install aerial on Crank Mast over the Roof
Most aerial installers have used this technique at one time or another. Instead of installing the aerial on a straight mast, they install it onto a curved mast. This allows the antenna to be placed above the roof. If birds sit on the antenna then the mess is confined to your roof and not over your pathways. It is not always possible, as it is dependent on the direction of the television transmitter and the alignment of the TV aerial. However, this method may work for you. This method can be combined with bird-spikes in order to drastically reduce bird-mess. You can choose from a variety of different crank masts, such as a swans neck or a double-crank. I suggest that you research these types before buying a mast. I also recommend that you buy a crank-mast with a minimum diameter of 1.25″ as the 1″ versions can be flimsy.
Instead of installing a crank-mast, you could clamp a section with a 8-nut clamp and a 2-inch clamp to replicate the distance offset. I would only recommend doing this for a mast with a diameter of 2″, as the wind load on the mast will increase and the mast may wobble more in strong winds.
Satellite dishes have the advantage of being able to be installed relatively low on a wall so that birds will not perch on it. This is assuming you do not have nearby obstructions blocking signal line of sight like nearby neighbouring buildings and trees. Satellite dishes are able to be mounted low on the wall, so birds won’t perch there. This is provided that nearby obstructions like trees and nearby buildings don’t block signal line of vision. Freesat is a similar service to Freeview that can be received in the UK for free. It’s also known as Freetime. In Ireland, you can choose Soarsat over Soarview. Sky is another option if your looking for something extra. For example, if you are leaving BT Vision. If you decide to go this route, here are some additional viewing options.
Please only post questions in the blog comments section.
This article was a little different from what you are used to reading and I hope that you enjoyed it. Please post any questions you may have about this blog in the section below. I will respond as soon as I can. Please be aware that we do not offer professional bird services, but we can install aerials in order to reduce bird mess.
Please do not call our telephone lines with your questions – we do not provide free technical support over the phone and I simply do not have time to offer this service. If you want to book an appointment, then please do not contact us.
Please do not e-mail your questions or fill in our website contact forms. These are only for customers and you will receive no response if you send them either way. Answering questions privately is too time-consuming.