How do you keep birds away

Pigeons in particular, but also many other bird species, can be a problem on the balcony in the city. This is mainly due to the fact that the animals cannot find any other suitable place in the narrow streets without trees to hang out on. The following article is intended to explain how the birds can be driven away from the balcony without harming them.

The problem

Especially when pigeons settle down on the balcony, then one or two specimens do not come here. Usually the animals in the pack choose a balcony or a roof overhang as a place to sleep. But pigeons in particular can transmit many pathogens, especially with their droppings, and are therefore classified as harmful to health if they populate a balcony. Sparrows also look for small nooks and crannies in the masonry where they can nest. And swallows build their nests under eaves or a corner on the balcony roof. Sparrows and swallows can also leave a lot of dirt on the balcony. Woodpeckers, on the other hand, can even damage the masonry considerably when searching for food. But why do so many birds nest on the balconies at all? This is mainly due to the following:
  • Cities are being built more and more densely
  • the natural environment is taken from the birds
  • Trees can usually only be found in the outskirts of cities
  • Common swifts, on the other hand, have always used the buildings
  • Food is also often found on balconies
  • Crumbs of cake or bread attract the animals

Tension the bird net

A good way to keep the birds off the balcony is by tensioning a bird net. But since this also significantly restricts your own view, this is only recommended for balconies that face a busy street and are therefore rarely used. In addition, prior to tensioning the network, the landlord or, in the case of a condominium, the owner's association must agree to the changed external appearance of the house.

Distribute with CD's

Blank CDs can also be hung as a decoration, but above all as a defense against pigeons and other birds. Because these have the property that they constantly reflect the light due to the mirror surfaces and their movement, which discourages the animals from heading for the balcony. When hanging up the CD's, the following should be observed:
  • Design the CD decoratively on the labeling surface
  • with colored foil
  • with felt-tip pens
  • transform into a fish with crepe paper
  • the mirror surface must not be processed
  • Use fishing line for threading
  • for example as a mobilĂ©
  • Hang in a corner or in the middle of the balcony
Tip: In addition to an effective bird repellant, these mobiles from CD's are also a very decorative balcony design, in which there are no limits to your own creativity.

Put up plastic birds

Plastic birds are sold in well-stocked gardening shops. These are mostly modeled after owls and ravens. Most bird species shy away from these birds and therefore allow themselves to be chased away by the plastic animals and so do not even fly to the balcony. The plastic birds should be set up as follows so that they are not only deterring but also decorative:
  • directly on the balcony parapet
  • find a place here between the plants
  • Always place plastic birds elevated
  • so the birds see them directly on approach
  • Use several plastic birds on a long balcony
Tip: Decorated in a back corner or on the floor, the plastic birds often fail. Because here they are not seen directly by the birds when they approach and they usually land on the balcony.

Spikes on ledges

If there are no small children in the household, defensive spikes can also be mounted on the balcony railing and on ledges. With small children, however, the own risk of injury is very high, so defensive spikes should be avoided in such a case. These are usually attached as follows:
  • ready-made spikes available in well-stocked stores
  • nail bodies made of plastic
  • can also be made from nails themselves
  • Spike the board with nails
  • the tips point upwards
  • Attach the defense device to the balcony railing
  • Birds have no way of settling down

Acoustic defense systems

The birds, and especially the pigeons, can be deterred by noises at first. But if these do not change for a long time, the animals can get used to them and then no longer take any notice. You land back on the balcony. Still, the following acoustic defense systems can be used if they are changed week by week:
  • hang up small bells
  • barking
  • Cries of birds of prey
  • a loud bang, do not use at regular intervals
Tip: Various noises in particular, which the birds are supposed to repel, can also be very stressful for humans. Therefore, it should be considered in advance whether the acoustic defense systems should be used. In an apartment building in particular, this should be avoided for reasons of good neighborliness.

Garlands, aluminum or mirror foil

Birds can be deterred when it flutters, glitters or reflects on the balcony. These light reflections can also be created very easily with decorations on the balcony and are therefore not only effective but also offer a decorative sight. These means are particularly suitable for balconies on the south side of the house, since the sun can fall on the objects all the time on nice days and this creates more light reflections. The following items are suitable for keeping birds off the balcony:
  • Rose balls
  • Plastic or glass balls
  • can be found in the gardening trade in the decoration department
  • are put in the flower boxes
  • Hang up strips of aluminum foil
  • light reflections are created by wind and sun
  • colorful balloons and garlands can also scare off the birds
  • these are hung up and blow in the wind
  • However, balloons filled with air must be replaced more often
Tip: But even with this measure, a little caution is required. For example, if the house is on a busy street, the light reflections could dazzle drivers and cause more accidents.

Avoid reflections

There are birds that see a strange conspecific in their own reflection, for example in the glass of the balcony door or a window on the balcony. Therefore, the birds are attracted to the reflections and land more on the balcony. But effective remedies can also be found against this:
  • cover the lower part of the disc
  • with foil, fabric or cardboard
  • often does not look very decorative
  • Leave external blinds down for several days
  • Beautify the outside of the window with decorative spray
Tip: However, if the birds persist and still fly against the pane on the balcony again and again, a mesh or fly screen that is attached in front of the pane can also help.

Destroy nests and eggs

The nests as well as the eggs of pigeons can be removed from your own balcony. However, this does not apply to songbirds or swallows if they have already established themselves. Corners in which swallows like to nest should therefore be prepared beforehand in such a way that they become unattractive for the birds to build nests in. Against the pigeon nests, however, can and should be proceeded as follows:
  • Dispose of nests again and again
  • so the pigeons lose the desire to build
  • Eggs in it may be disposed of
  • a specialist can also be called in for help

Don't kill birds

All birds, not only the songbirds but also pigeons, are under nature protection and must therefore not be killed. Even if the pigeons can transmit diseases and are often called the "rats of the air", the animals must not be harmed. This is anchored in the Nature Conservation Act and in the event of non-compliance, fines of not inconsiderable amounts can be imposed.

Take care when cleaning

If the birds have been effectively driven away, then the balcony must be cleaned of bird droppings. Because this is very aggressive and massively attacks the masonry as well as the floor covering. The balcony furniture must also be cleaned so that there are no unsightly stains. But pigeon droppings in particular are very harmful to health. Therefore, the following precautionary measures should be observed when cleaning:
  • always wear gloves
  • Wear a face mask
  • otherwise the smallest particles will be inhaled during cleaning
  • sturdy shoes, do not work barefoot
  • Spray disinfectant after cleaning
  • this kills all bacteria and viruses


The birds are happy to settle where they can find food, even if the residents of the apartment with the adjoining balcony are often unconscious. Because if you hang a bird feeder on the balcony, you shouldn't be surprised if this is not only approached by red flies or titmice, which it is usually supposed to reach. Above all, pigeons and sparrows are attracted by this, but since these two species of birds usually appear in flocks, these birds are already pre-programmed to occupy the balcony. But there are also other aspects that attract birds and should therefore be avoided:
  • Do not leave leftover food on the balcony
  • also remove crumbs on the table and floor directly
  • do not hang up bird balls in winter
  • do not offer any nesting sites
  • Better to offer both away from home