Ahhhh, It's spring.

I'm on the top (6th) floor of an apartment building that has an open balcony with a beautiful view… that I recently share with some pigeons.

I would much rather the pigeons choose another balcony to admire the view. I do not want to hurt them in any way (other than to deny them free rent at my expense.) They do leave payment in the form of a pile of fertilizer right where they normally sit in nice weather.

I have three cats that are glued to the window watching our guests enjoy themselves. If I open the door, I'm afraid one of my cats will launch itself into free space attempting to catch one of the mild-tempered "Rock doves."

The pigeons seem to sense this and tease the cats by parading in front of the window. It was funny — for a while. Not now.

Shoo-ing them away is a temporary fix as they return soon. Things that move such as a wind chime and a flag don't seem to bother my unwanted guests, either. It's a quiet neighbourhood - noise is not an option that I can imagine.

As the weather gets warmer, I'd like to use the balcony without having to recover the gift guano left for me every day. Yuk!

Question: What can I do to "encourage" them to find another spot to sit?


6 Answers 6


A plastic owl may discourage them for a few weeks. Many birds fear owls, and "decoys" are sold to keep other birds at bay. I've read that after a few weeks, birds finally figure out the plastic owl is fake, but it's worth a try.

  • 2
    I have plastic ravens for this. You have to keep moving them, else the birds work out they are furniture. There are also winged versions you can hang up.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 8:10

Not quite an answer to your problem; round here people who have cats and high balconies tend to protect the whole balcony with a net, so the cats can't fall down. That way the cats can use the balcony all day without worry. Cats do fall down, they are not all wondercat.

OK, it doesn't look that pretty - well, you could use a nice-looking net - but it keeps the birds out and the cats in. Consider a wooden or metal lattice, and you could have plants growing up it as well.

Edit: it has to be a visible net so the birds won't get caught in it.

  • The pigeons also sit on the roof (where their nest must be) that overhangs the balcony; and, their droppings land on the balcony floor. I would need an awning of some sort; but, that probably won't last with the winds that can be "brisk." My access to the roof is limited.
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:42
  • 1
    You're right, it's not an answer. On principle, I won't down-vote your answer; but, I must call attention to the physical damage to birds from nets, chain-link fences, and glass windows reflecting open sky. Once a bird gets its wing or neck stuck in the net lattice, it's non-habit-forming. A cage would be less dangerous for animal safety in dangerous locations - This is for all the people round there. It is also for up-voters who may not have been aware that the use of netting is potentially dangerous or what I meant by "not hurting them in any way." Thank you for reading and heeding my rant.
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 18:26

I would try Anti Bird Spikes:

  • Protects potential roosting sites from pigeons and other birds, preventing them from soiling the area

  • These spikes repel birds without harming them by acting as a barrier to roosting

That's only one example, surely they come in many different forms and colors, but the idea is the same.

  • 2
    Nothing says, "Home Sweet Home" more than rows of Anti-Bird spikes on my balcony railings, window ledges and window boxes. I'd prefer a more domestic appearance rather than a tecno-industrial feel. I saw that a neighbour stuck plastic forks (tines-up) in their planters to discourage my guest's relatives. That worked beautifully. The pigeons avoided the forks but sat on the softer more comfortable plants. Net result: Pigeons 1, neighbour 0. I also want to have plants on my balcony.
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 16:24
  • Nope:. mobile.twitter.com/keatxngrant/status/1147237365678845952
    – Ian W
    Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 11:11

My grandmother used to hang CDs in her balcony for this purpose.

enter image description here

  • 1
    NICE illustration Koray! I see exactly what you mean. I wonder how it compares with clones of predators.
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 22:41
  • I've tried that before. The pigeons couldn't care less.
    – Headcrab
    Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 3:08

When I had pigeons frequently sitting on the railing of my veranda, I eventually solved that by stretching two pieces of wire along the railing. Screw a clamp at each end of the railing, tie a wire to one of the clamps, then to the other, tightening it as much as you can, so that it stays about 5-7 cm above the railing. The way it works is it doesn't let the pigeons land: the wire itself is too thin and unsteady for them to sit on, and it doesn't let their feet to reach the railing itself. The top surface of my railing was rather wide, so one wire along the center wasn't enough, had to attach two closer to the edges, but for narrower railings a single wire should be enough. That didn't look as ugly as spikes, and, as I remember, was quite a lot cheaper. I could even still lean on the railing. Would be impractical if they would sit on the floor as well, but mine never did, only the railing.


Try "scare tape". Idk how it affects pigeons, but suburban birds stay away from it, even if several meters away. A few, 2m-long, billowing ribbons of scare tape tied on our porch railing kept birds from pecking at the top of our chimney, ~10m away. You can get a spool of such tape at the hardware store for like ~6$

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