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Birds Problem: Droppings and "Stealing" Orchid Roots

This is a discussion on Birds Problem: Droppings and "Stealing" Orchid Roots within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I love to feed pigeons that came by my house with leftover rice or bread ...

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  1. #1
    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    Question Birds Problem: Droppings and "Stealing" Orchid Roots

    I love to feed pigeons that came by my house with leftover rice or bread crumbs. In return they give me free au naturale fertilizers to my orchids. I am not sure if this would do good or harm to my orchids but normally I just spray with water to wash it off. Bird droppings are smelly though.

    Next thing is they are trying to build nest on my roof, so they are collecting materials for their nest. Guess what? Orchids roots such as Vanda that hang loose out of the basket might looked like dead twigs when they are dry. Perfect material for a nest. So these pigeons tried to "steal" the roots from the plant. But since the roots are attached to the plant (obviously!), they would be struggling and as a result, the leaves becomes damaged. My Phalaenopsis Fuller's Sunset is one of the victim. My question would be, are bird droppings harmful to the orchids? Because sometimes black fungus would grow on the droppings if I don't wash it off. How do I chase away these birds? Any suggestion is very much appreciated.

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    If you are feeding the pigeons then you are encouraging them to stay. You have to stop feeding them.

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    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    I have stopped feeding them but I think it's too late. Now I have to figure out how to chase them away.

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    You have probably encouraged them to nest nearby since they had a good food supply. They do not chase away easily. Maybe adopt a big cat. Some people put up a big owl figurine on the roof but that might scare off hawks which will reduce the population pretty quickly. In the meantime you will have to protect the roots of the orchids with netting.

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    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencegal View Post
    You have probably encouraged them to nest nearby since they had a good food supply. They do not chase away easily. Maybe adopt a big cat. Some people put up a big owl figurine on the roof but that might scare off hawks which will reduce the population pretty quickly. In the meantime you will have to protect the roots of the orchids with netting.
    Good suggestions! I have thought of scarecrow but never thought about owl figurine. Good solution for the roots as well! I used to have a cat but one day it just never come home anymore. Thank you very much Karin

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    I raise homing pigeons. I have a scarecrow just outside the loft in a vain attempt to keep the hawks away. The pigeons roost on it.

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    Azizan is offline Senior Member
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    Scarecrow may not work then. Maybe pigeons are already used to humans and/or human-like figures. What about the droppings? Another problem is feathers are everywhere.

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    For sure stop feeding them. Another thing you can try if you can reach the spot where they are nesting. Pigeons can't lay eggs on a sloped surface, they role away. Put a board or anything else that is not too heavy (don't want any bricks falling on your head) there to create the slope. I wouldn't do the cat thing. They can do a lot of damage chasing things through plants.
    Last edited by Chris in Hamilton; November 30th, 2016 at 04:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azizan View Post
    Scarecrow may not work then. Maybe pigeons are already used to humans and/or human-like figures. What about the droppings? Another problem is feathers are everywhere.
    Pigeons are smart. They might figure that a scarecrow is just another human with food beside being a nice place to perch. A cat might be your best bet.

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    78Terp's Avatar
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    I had the cat thought too. Not necessarily to kill but to encourage moving on.

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