Jun 03, 2023

8 Easy Methods for How to Keep Birds Off Your Porch

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Birds are a joy to observe from afar. They add life to our gardens and charm to our mornings. However, when these feathered friends become too friendly, nesting on our porches and leaving behind unsightly messes, it can be quite a nuisance. Their droppings can cause damage to paintwork, and their noisy chatter can disrupt our peace. If this is the case for you, you might find it necessary to figure out how to deter them from settling too close to your home.

In this article, we will explore some easy, practical, and humane methods to keep birds off your porch while still enjoying their presence from afar.

©Jorge A. Russell/

Wind chimes can serve as an effective deterrent for birds looking to perch or nest on your porch. These decorative pieces function on two main principles: visual disturbance and auditory disruption.

Birds are creatures of habit and prefer a peaceful, predictable environment for nesting. The continual movement and reflective surfaces of wind chimes create a visual disturbance that birds find unsettling. The unpredictability of the swaying and spinning chimes disrupts the bird's sense of safety, causing them to seek more stable places to land or nest.

The sound produced by wind chimes can also deter birds. The unpredictable noises and sudden clangs can alarm birds, making the area seem dangerous or inhospitable. Wind chimes are especially effective against generally more timid or easily startled species.

It's important to note that not all wind chimes are equally effective. Choose wind chimes with a high-pitched tone and a reflective or metallic finish for the best results. Remember, the goal is not to harm the birds but to gently discourage them from making your porch their home. So, while you enjoy the melodic sound of your wind chimes, you’ll also keep your porch free of unwanted visitors.

©Peter Turner Photography/

Another popular and effective method to deter birds from your porch is using a fake owl. Birds have evolved to see owls as natural predators, and thus, their presence creates an environment of perceived threat, discouraging smaller birds from nesting or perching nearby.

Owls are nocturnal hunters and are feared by many bird species. A life-sized fake owl, especially one with a rotating or bobbing head that mimics real-life movements, can trick birds into believing that a real owl is present. This faux predator is a powerful deterrent, convincing birds that your porch is not a safe place to rest or nest.

The decoy should be placed on your porch in a prominent, visible location for maximum effect. It may also help to move the fake owl around periodically to prevent birds from becoming accustomed to it and realizing it's not a real threat.

©Below the Sky/

Hanging shiny objects such as foil from your porch is another effective method to deter birds. This strategy works like wind chimes, leveraging birds’ sensitivity to visual stimuli and their aversion to perceived instability. Birds are highly visual creatures, and shiny or reflective objects can be disconcerting. When sunlight hits these items, they produce random flashes of light, which birds interpret as a sign of potential danger or an unstable environment. Additionally, the movement of these objects caused by wind adds another layer of disturbance that discourages birds from settling down.

Aluminum foil is effective because it's both shiny and noisy. When the wind rustles the foil, it creates unpredictable sounds that can startle birds, making them less likely to approach your porch.

This method of bird deterrence is practical, humane, and environmentally friendly, especially if you’re reusing materials like used foil. Plus, if arranged creatively, these shiny deterrents can also serve as unique, light-catching decorations for your porch.

©Peter Turner Photography/

Reusing old CDs or DVDs is a cost-effective and eco-friendly method to deter birds from your porch. This method works similarly to the concept of hanging shiny objects or foil. CDs and DVDs are reflective on one side, and when hung from a string, they can spin and sway freely in the wind. This creates unpredictable flashes of light and movement, which can startle or confuse birds, making your porch seem like an unwelcoming or unsafe environment.

To use this method, thread a piece of string or fishing line through the hole in the center of the CD or DVD and hang it from your porch ceiling, railing, or any other high point. For better results, you can hang several CDs or DVDs at different lengths and locations around your porch to cover more area and create a more dynamic deterrent.

©Ursula Page/

Maintaining a neat porch is another effective strategy to discourage birds from making it their stopping point. Like most creatures, birds are attracted to areas where they can find shelter, food, and nesting materials. Keeping your porch clean and orderly can make it less appealing to our feathered friends.

Start by removing any potential food sources. Avoid leaving pet food or other edibles out in the open. Regularly clean up any crumbs or spills that might attract birds. If you have bird feeders, consider relocating them from your porch to a distant part of your yard.

Next, eliminate potential nesting sites. Birds often build nests in hidden or secluded areas. Clean up any clutter where birds might find shelter, such as piles of leaves, unused plant pots, or stacks of wood.

If you have plants on your porch, opt for species that aren't attractive to birds. For instance, avoid plants with berries or seeds that birds might eat or dense shrubbery where they could hide or nest.

Lastly, consider removing or securing loose objects that birds could use as nesting material, such as straw mats or soft furnishings.

Keeping your porch tidy and free of attractions makes it less inviting for birds. This is a simple, cost-effective, and humane strategy that not only keeps birds at bay but also makes your porch more pleasant for you to enjoy too.

©Elena Chevalier/

Despite their slightly intimidating name, anti-bird spikes are a safe and effective method to keep birds from landing or nesting on your porch. They are designed with the sole purpose of deterring birds without causing them harm.

These spikes, typically made of plastic or metal, have a blunt tip that prevents birds from comfortably perching on the railings, roof, or other surfaces of your porch where they’re installed. It's important to note that these spikes aren't sharp enough to injure the birds. Instead, they create an uneven, uncomfortable surface that deters birds from landing or nesting.

Install anti-bird spikes on your porch's ledges, railings, and rooflines–essentially any flat surfaces where birds might like to settle. The spikes are usually weather-resistant and require minimal maintenance, making them a practical, long-term solution for bird deterrence.

While the sight of spikes might seem harsh, they provide a humane solution to the issue of unwanted avian visitors. They do not trap or harm the birds but merely encourage them to find a more comfortable spot elsewhere, away from your porch. As a result, you can enjoy a clean, bird-free outdoor space while allowing the birds to go about their lives undisturbed.


Decorating your porch with hanging crystals is an innovative, aesthetically pleasing method to deter birds while enhancing your outdoor space's beauty. This approach is both practical and humane, relying on the properties of light and movement to dissuade birds from landing or nesting on your porch.

As we know, birds can be startled by the bright, unpredictable flashes of light created when sunlight refracts through the crystals. This scattering of light mimics the reflections that can occur from moving water or the presence of larger animals, signals that birds often interpret as potential danger. Moreover, the constant, wind-driven movement of the hanging crystals adds another layer of a deterrent, as birds generally prefer stable, predictable environments for nesting.

You can purchase ready-made hanging crystals from home décor or garden stores, or for a more personalized touch, consider making your own. This can be a fun and creative DIY project. Use a variety of shapes and sizes to catch and refract light differently, creating a visually dynamic deterrent. To hang them, use a weather-resistant material like a fishing line or a thin metal chain, and secure them around your porch.

While the crystals are doing the work of keeping birds at bay, they also add a touch of elegance to your porch. On sunny days, they’ll fill your space with tiny rainbows; even on overcast days, they’ll sparkle. Therefore, this method helps maintain a bird-free porch and adds an element of beauty and creativity to your home exterior.

©Klimek Pavol/

While watching birds peck at seeds, or food scraps you’ve left out for them is undoubtedly charming, this act can make your porch a prime target for our feathered friends. Though seemingly harmless and entertaining, feeding birds on your porch can cause many issues. It attracts a continuous stream of bird visitors who not only make a mess with their droppings but can also cause noise disturbances, damage property, and potentially spread disease.

Birds have an excellent memory when it comes to locating food sources. Scientists routinely studied the brains of and memory recall of various birds, including black-capped chickadees. Their results show that birds have flexible memory for food storage. Once they associate your porch with easy meals, they will likely return frequently, bringing along their mates or entire flocks. This regular visitation can lead birds to nest on your porch, exacerbating the issues further.

If dealing with a persistent bird problem on your porch, one of the first and most effective steps you can take is to stop feeding them in that area. Eliminate any food source that might attract them, including seeds, food scraps, and pet food. Remember to clean up any spills immediately and secure your trash bins, as some birds are clever enough to forage there.

However, if you enjoy feeding the birds and watching their antics, don't worry; you don't have to stop this activity altogether. Instead, consider relocating your bird feeders further away in your yard. This creates a suitable distance between the feeding birds and your porch, minimizing the likelihood of them venturing onto your porch. Opt for bird feeders with a catch-tray to prevent seed spills that could attract birds to the ground, closer to your porch.

All of these above steps allow you to balance enjoying bird-watching and maintaining a clean, peaceful porch. This will help you establish boundaries so that you and the birds can enjoy the space safely and respectfully.

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