For the Birds!

Stuff it!  No, not the spinnaker or the storm trysail, although both of those get stuffed from time to time.    It’s for the birds!  You’ll be amazed at where birds can find to nest and cover your deck with never-ending bird crap.  Especially when you’re a commuter cruiser about to leave your boat for six months!

Stuff It & Insure No Birds Nests While You Leave the Boat!

Stuff It & Insure No Birds Nest While You Leave the Boat!

Luckily, a simple rag stuffed into the end of the boom will keep the birds from nesting in the boom.  Similarly, a rag stuffed into the roller furling hub will keep the birds from enjoying a new home.  Once they nest and lay eggs, it’s much more difficult to relocate them than to keep them from nesting in the first place.

Make sure the rags are large enough to stuff the entire empty area and not just become a convenient base for a nest!

Just before leaving the boat for the last time, walk around the deck and think like a bird — where would you like to get in a convenient crevice and make a nest?  Stuff all the possibilities with rags.

Now, anyone have any tips to keep the birds from using our spreaders as a perch & covering the deck with you know what???   Leave a comment!  THX!   Jan


  1. I keep the birds off my boat! 😉

  2. A very good argument for a kitty aboard! 🙂 But David says no…

  3. To keep the birds off the spreaders, I use monofilament (fishing line) tied to the shrouds from side to side, a few inches above each spreader. That keeps the birds off them. Otherwise it can be a big problem up here in New England too.

    I have to do something a little extra to keep the mono centered over the spreader, otherwise it wants to go straight to the forward part of the mast. I tie another, shorter piece of mono to the main piece, right at the mast end of the spreader. The other end of this short piece goes around the aft edge of the spreader and gets tied to the shroud that meets the mast right below the spreader. By doing this to each side, and adjusting it just right, the mono is centered over the spreader and makes for an uncomfortable place for birds to sit.

    When leaving the boat for a month or so, I take a spool of mono and criss-cross the boat using mostly the lifeline stanchions, but also the bow pulpit, pushpit, and backstays. Since I only make a knot that start of the line, when I come back, it’s easy to wind it back onto the spool for next time. It doesn’t take much to make a difference; a few criss-crosses and birds will know to stay away. (When I first started doing this, I found a tuft of feathers on the mono and no poop on the deck.) Oh, and when I do cut the starting end of the mono , after coming back to the boat, I leave a few inches of mono flapping in the breeze, a big “stay away” reminder.

    For up at the top of the mast, I also have mono running from the VHF antenna to the top of the Windex (the kind of Windex that has a spike at the top), about 20 inches above the mast top. And I also have mono running between them, 4 inches above the top of the mast. It keeps the birds off.

    The only place left is a the very bow, ahead of the roller furler. I tie a 6 foot piece of monofilament from the center of the front of the pulpit, up and back (45 degrees) to the furled head sail. That does the trick there.

    (Bene505 on Cruisersforum, and

  4. we use a pig stick with a 12 ” flag at the masthead. Also have mono on the spreaders. Works well on Charlotte Harbor. Wherever you are, birds sound vicious.

    • We’re on Charlotte Harbor! Where are you Bill? We’re currently at Burnt Store Marina – there are rumors that the birds are less vicious over in the north basin and several boats have moved over there. Have friends stopping by this morning, hopefully the birds will leave us alone for the next 3 hours …. Cheers! Jan

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