Cost Less than $10, if you don’t have these lying around your home.
Aesthetic 0/10, If someone doesn’t know your trying to scare away birds, you’re going to have to explain it to them, otherwise it may get a little awkward.
Source Around the house, or electronics store for the CD’s and string from the local hardware store/supermarket.
The theory The CD’s are used to create an irritating movement to the birds. Birds are naturally sensitive to movement and their first instinct to deal with potentially dangerous situations is to avoid them by either walking or flying away.
When sunlight hits the CD’s it will create a light which will flash all over the intended area, whilst any wind will move the CD’s around and therefore the lights, hitting any birds in the eye, irritating them and causing them to fly away.
How to use Cut the string into the lengths you desire and tie the string around the CD’s. You can have as many CD’s as you like on one piece of string, but one every 30cm (1 foot) would be plenty. There is no real upkeep or maintenance.
I found some old burnt CD’s lying around and some string I had in a tool box. I wasn’t worried about the colour of the string, but if you had fishing wire I would suggest that instead. The thickness of my string did hinder the cd’s movement a little, this could be something to consider if you are contemplating this method, as the movement of the CD’s is important.
The strings of CD’s I had spaced out every one to one and a half metres along the top of my veranda, I also put some closer to the ground to target the birds that made it on my lawn.
Over the first few days I did notice that the birds were still loitering around the area, but not in the spots which had the seed in them and not in the area where the light from the CD’s would be directed. I have two popular places for birds to hang out in my backyard, on top of a little shed, and on top of the carport. The CD’s didn’t directly target these areas and the birds were still occasionally sighted there.
Over the period of days four and five I noticed that the birds were generally keeping away from the seed. I had noticed looking at the lawn that a lot of the seed was still there. I also noticed that there were birds at the other end of my back yard going for worms (10 or so metres away).
In any case I put down some more lawn seed, and I also put some seed just outside the ‘protected area’ on the side to see how my coverage I was getting.
On day seven I came home and saw birds right at the seed. And not just one or two, there were five eating the lawn seed right in front of the CD’s. After this it’s clear to me that the CD’s aren’t working.
There is about half the lawn seed left after I remove the CD’s eight days after putting them up.
The idea of the CD’s is to flash lights all over the area that you intend to keep bird free. However, the CD’s only work when there is direct sunlight, so when its night time, or overcast, or you have something blocking the sun (your house, a tree etc.) then they don’t work. They also need a breeze, otherwise the cd’s become static and don’t move around.
It is better to have the movement come from where a bird can’t see it. The CD’s are quite obvious and their restricted movement leaves them more predictable and therefore less effective in my opinion.
I also do suggest that you use a string that is small and thin, just so the CD’s will move in even the slightest breeze. My string was a little thick and the CD’s did need a strong breeze to move appropriately.
The birds did tend to keep away from the seed from what I saw, and there was quite a bit of lawn seed left after the experiment. When it was windy and the sun was out the CD’s worked quite well, I could see flashes of light move over my fence and on the lawn.
As far as someone who wanted to scare birds permanently, no, I wouldn’t bother leaving them up for more than two weeks. But if you wanted to keep them away for a shorter period then give this a go. I think It could be successfully accompanied by a noise deterrent.