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  • I’ve seen these on sailboat masts in marinas. Boat-owning friend says they work at first and then birds start perching on them.

    • Yes, this. I’ve always coveted these but a nice woman at Annie’s once told me other birds figure them out pretty quickly.

      Lots of buildings do still stick them up somewhere trying to keep pigeons away. Once I saw two people pull over, get out of their car and point excitedly at the fake owl on an office building. :/

  • I’ve been told they scare away woodpeckers. I’m not sure if they work.

  • Yes and no. We put one in our garden last year and for about a week it eliminated birds and squirrels from our garden. But then the critters wised up. The trick is to move it occasionally, one a week or so. Also, the one we have has a small solar panel on its head which causes the head turn rotate every minute or so. I think that feature more than anything makes other birds and squirrels think it’s real. It’s not a perfect solution but it does work to a degree.

    • Good to know that the moving ones work a little better. We’re trying to figure out a way to keep the birds from eating ALL of our blueberries this year, unlike last summer. We didn’t get to eat a single blueberry from any of our three bushes, because the damn birds stripped them clean.

      I want blueberries this year, so it’s either the weird plastic owl, or constructing some kind of mesh housing for them, which is totally inconvenient, but may need to be the way to go.

      • clevelanddave

        Try putting a net, like a fishing type plastic net with holes that are about 3/4 of an inch in size. That is what we used to do with cherry trees and it is quite effective.

  • HOO KNOWS???

  • burritosinstereo

    My mom told me a million years ago that it was to keep mosquitos away, but I think she made that up because she didn’t know what they really were for.

  • Whatever. All that matters is that they look cool. Who doesn’t like an owl?

  • I put one out so the birds would stop dropping all over my pond rocks. It only worked for a bit, but I keep him out there to look after the block.

  • It’s either the owls or the gentrification, but something is scaring off the crackheads in our neighborhood.

  • There’s a sometimes-flying goose on a house in the 800 block of C Street, SE. It’s on a string, so occasionally the wind picks it up and tosses it about like a tetherball. Not quite sure what it’s purpose is…

  • They’re not that great – had a bunch of blackbirds that were hanging out in a tree directly above my little back patio. I put one on the roof and moved it around once a week…yet, birds still just sat in the trees and defecated all over my patio en masse.

  • anon. gardener

    last year we had a problem with birds eliminating all over our front porch. I got some reflective tape and a jumbo sized whirling pinwheel thing. one of them worked – no more birds. You might try stringing reflective tape through your blueberries.

  • I could give a hoot about the fake ones. How does one go about enticing a real live owl to live close by?

  • They don’t scare me.

  • “The Owls are not what they seem”

  • We had a woodpecker that always attacked the side of our house. We nailed a rubber snake to the trim and it never came back even though it’s obvious a snake isn’t slither up the side of a house in perpetuity.

  • I know they work for snakes, which, as far as I know aren’t a huge problem in DC, but I’ve never had luck with them working for keeping birds away.

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