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How to scare off blackbirds

Updated November 21, 2016

Blackbirds help to control insects and are an important part of the ecosystem. Large numbers of blackbirds often congregate and reach a point where they begin to overtake an area. Crop damage and the potentially harmful droppings they leave behind result in homeowners, gardeners and farmers taking steps to protect property. A variety of means are available to help deter blackbirds from an area. However, it is important to first determine what means are legal and allowable as blackbirds are protected under law.

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  1. Determine what steps are legal for use in the removal of blackbirds in your particular area or state. Obtain any permits that are necessary for blackbird control based on the deterrent to be used.

  2. Hang aluminium pie plates or old compact discs from limbs or posts. Use string to hang the plates or discs in locations around a yard, garden or orchard to frighten and discourage blackbirds from congregating.

  3. Hang strips of brightly coloured marking or survey tape from limbs, posts and other objects. Tie the plastic tape so that the wind will catch and move it to scare blackbirds away.

  4. Load a 12- or 20-gauge shotgun with aerial explosive "shell cracker" shotgun shells. Point the muzzle of the shotgun so it is aimed over blackbirds that are resting on the ground or in trees. Fire the shotgun to direct the shell cracker over the birds to it will explode and scare the blackbirds away.

  5. Walk or drive along areas where blackbirds are congregating. Sound a hand held air horn to scare the birds away.

  6. Tip

    Use one or several of these means to deter black birds. Repeated use of the shell crackers and air horn will likely be necessary for long term control.

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Things You'll Need

  • Permit (if needed)
  • Aluminium pie plate
  • Compact discs
  • Marking tape
  • Shotgun
  • Shell crackers
  • Air horn

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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