I hate pigeons. Like really, REALLY hate pigeons. Especially New York City pigeons that are nothing more than a pooping nuisance unless you're watching them from a distance.
I've had a serious problem with pigeons on my balcony since 2020 which only got worse over the last couple of years. I first discovered a hidden nest with 2 baby pigeons (only one survived) and the plan was to get rid of the nesting materials as soon as the baby was able to fly off. By the time that day came there was SO MUCH POOP (not to mention a dead baby pigeon) in and around the nest that it literally required a shovel. After thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the area and rearranging things, I found ANOTHER nest with 2 pigeon eggs which were immediately disposed of. I really thought that would be the end of it but these pigeons kept returning, including the junior pigeon (who had very distinct coloring so it was easily identifiable). That began the incessant task of spraying jets of water whenever I'd see them, and of course there was ALWAYS the poop to contend with.
Last summer I took on a renovation project on my balcony, replacing old grout and caulk, repairing and repainting the concrete, cleaning and limewashing the brick walls, and deoxidizing the aluminum railing. And after all that work imagine how frustrating it was to keep finding new pigeon poop all over the place again.
Now I've tried several things to deal with pigeons over the last few years. I've used holographic pinwheels, those bobblehead decoy owls that make screeching noises via motion sensor, spraying peppermint oil on the balcony... none were effective in the long run. The pinwheels looked pretty spinning in the wind, especially reflecting the sunlight, but after a month or so I saw a pigeon sitting on the railing right between 2 of them while they were spinning and the pigeon didn't even flinch until I sprayed water at it. The decoy owls didn't scare them AT ALL and the only benefit was that it made screeching sounds to alert me of the pigeon's presence once it tripped the motion sensor and then I had to spray water to scare them off. And the peppermint oil, while it smelled pleasant enough, did absolutely nothing to deter the pigeons. The only thing that was guaranteed to scare them off was to catch them in the act and shoot water at them, and as satisfying as that might be, that's not an effective long-term solution either. I've had some limited success with bird netting but only by draping it directly over the area where pigeons had made nests to prevent access to those areas. That did nothing to deter them from landing on my balcony in the first place.
I have been constantly on the lookout for a better way to deflect pigeons off my balcony because a pigeon that lands on the railing or concrete ledge equals poop. I don't care if they are just resting their wings for a minute or sunning themselves and watching the world go by... the fact of the matter is: They. Always. Poop.
It was on one of my recent internet searches for new and different ways to deal with pigeons that I came across this Petslandia Bird Deterrent System and was very intrigued. I ordered 3 boxes of the 6-foot sections and installed them on the upper rail of my balcony. It comes with holes in the base if you want to attach them to wood railing with screws but since I have aluminum rails I used clear Gorilla Glue mounting squares at even intervals to affix them to the rails. The ends snap together to create a continuous unit and I had one end piece left that was too large to fit so I cut it down to the exact size I needed with a craft saw. Initially I wasn't sure how effective the mounting squares would be so I also used zip ties as a backup measure (especially since I installed them at the beginning of January and didn't know how the cold and wind might affect it) but my Gorilla Glue squares were very secure and the zip ties were unnecessary in the end. I snapped each of the curved pieces onto the base and everything was ready to go.
This system worked IMMEDIATELY. The very next day I happened to be watching as a pigeon flew to my balcony and attempted to land on the railing but physically couldn't because this thing swings them right off. Without a stable place to land they quickly give up and fly off. I've watched as several pigeons attempted to land, realized they physically couldn't, and flew off to poop on one of my neighbor's balconies instead. I installed this in January and it's now April and not ONE SINGLE PIGEON has been able to land on the railing. Every so often I'll see a pigeon fly nearby, hover briefly, and fly away because they learn very quickly that they can't land on this. No pigeons = no poop. Hallelujah!
One added benefit of this pigeon deterrent system (at least for me) is that it moves and swings in the breeze and is reminiscent of rippling waves which is actually very soothing to watch, not to mention that I can look out the window and see how windy it is. It kind of reminds me of those cool looking kinetic garden sculptures. The only complaint I had after installation was that when it was very windy during the winter these swinging pieces would squeak very lightly from the friction of the plastic pieces moving against each other. I reached out to the company and the owner responded quickly and recommended that I lubricate the joints. I sprayed a bit of WD-40 at every joint and voila...they now swing in silence and more smoothly than before!
We've endured some very strong winds and well-below freezing temps here this winter and this system has held up perfectly, through rain, snow, and even hail. The weight of any snow buildup generally causes the pieces to swing the snow right off. Now that we're into Spring and milder temperatures (and more very strong winds) it's continuing to do its job and keep the pigeons away. By the way, it's made in Italy and seems to be of high quality materials. The clear polycarbonate is strong and I don't foresee any issues with the heat of summer or direct afternoon sunlight but I'll know for sure in a couple of months. The only thing I would do differently when installing is to use a clear glue or caulk for a permanent fix and to prevent moisture from getting underneath, but for me, so far, the Gorilla Glue mounting squares have worked perfectly well.
I absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend this Petslandia Bird Deterrent System to anyone with a balcony or porch railing or window ledge where birds have been a problem. New York City pigeons can be very aggressively persistent and not much phases them but they literally cannot land on this (nor can any other bird) and this seems to have solved my pigeon - and pigeon poop - problem once and for all.