Controlling Predatory Birds: What To Do For Birds Of Prey In My Garden

Controlling Predatory Birds: What To Do For Birds Of Prey In My Garden

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By: Jackie Carroll

If you enjoy watching wildlife in your garden, for some of you, one animal you don’t want to see is a bird of prey. Keep reading to find out how to discourage hawks and owls from visiting your garden.

Before trying to remove a bird of prey that visits your garden, find out its legal status. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects all hawks and owls in the United States and makes it illegal to trap or kill them without a special permit. Permits are only issued after you have tried other methods of convincing the bird to move on. In addition, it is illegal to scare or harass endangered species. Check with the Fish and Wildlife Service to find out the status of your bird of prey.

Birds of Prey in My Garden

Hawks and owls visit gardens that offer an abundant source of food, such as birdfeeders or wildlife plantings and ponds. Bird of prey deterrents include habitat modification, frightening the birds and, as a last resort, trapping and relocation. It’s best to leave trapping to experts who know how to trap and handle birds without injuring them.

Most gardeners can do some form of habitat modification to discourage birds of prey. Before swooping in for the kill, they survey the area from a perch that allows a good view of the surrounding area. Removing perches may be all it takes to convince the bird to move on. If you can’t remove the perch, try controlling birds of prey by changing the situation on the ground. Brush piles and dense shrub plantings offer wildlife a place to hide.

How to Keep Birds of Prey Away From Bird Feeders

While birds of prey in gardens are often helpful in keeping unwanted rodent populations down, they can sometimes go after other birds in the garden. If raptors are killing the birds that visit your bird feeder, try taking them down for a couple of weeks. If the birds of prey return when you replace the bird feeders, put them away until next season.

Scare tactics aren’t very practical or convenient in an urban setting. The most effective frightening devices are pyrotechnics fired from a pistol or shotgun that create explosions or other loud noises and light flashes. These devices only scare the bird for a short time, so they aren’t effective at keeping birds of prey out of gardens for the long term.

This article was last updated on

How to Protect Small Dogs from Birds of Prey

Last Updated: July 31, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 97% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 61,144 times.

Birds of prey, like eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls, have keen eyesight and can strike their prey swiftly. They tend to hunt rodents and small birds, but very small dogs can sometimes be at risk as well. If your dog is particularly small, you should exercise caution whenever it’s outside. Take measures to ensure your yard is as safe as it can be for your dog. Make smart choices when you’re outside together. And know what to do if your dog ever faces a bird of prey.

Best Ultrasonic Bird Repellent Reviews

1. Bird-X Balcony Gard Ultrasonic Bird Repeller

The first marvellous ultrasound bird repeller should be put in your shopping cart is the Bird-X Ultrasonic Bird Repellent. This device produces high-pitched ultrasound waves of 15,000 – 25,000 Hz and periodic chirp sound to eliminate birds from perching and roosting.

This item comes with adjustable settings, which allow me to level up and down of my choice. Most of the time, I set it at Medium frequency, but I would love to move to a High setting when the mating season comes.

I installed this bird device on the roof, next to the chimney, where I do not wish to see any birds nesting.

At first, I was quite sceptical whether this machine would work for pigeons as it produces high-frequency sound – which does not belong to pigeons’ hearing range. It turns out the loud sound of 90 dB does a fantastic job. Pigeons feel annoyed and flee away once the sound is on suddenly.

Another reason why I purchased this gadget is that it can work effectively in an open region of 250 square metres. One book-sized device can cover my roof and front yard at the same time.

Sometimes, we can hear the sounds inside our house and from the front yard. My teenie kids seem to be more sensitive to the sound, as they can hear the light beeping noise but do not feel overwhelming. By contrast, my middle-aged neighbors rarely detect the noise, and maybe it is due to their aging hearing loss, I guess.

This machine operates with batteries with A/C option, and it also includes a 15-metre cord to connect to the power sources. It would be more wonderful if it could come with the rechargeable solar batteries. But the extension cord is already a very good offer when I need to place the device outside, by the garden fence or on the roof.

    Cover a large area of about 270 square metres Immediate results Hardly affected by harsh weather Humane to birds and safety to humans

This device is worth 5 stars among thousands of bird control devices in the market place. It is easy to install, durable and a silent lifesaver to rescue you from nuisance feathered creatures.

2. Izbie Z1 Ultrasonic Bird Repellent

The next amazing sonic bird repellent device is the Izbie Z1 Ultrasound Bird Repellent. It not only casts pest birds away but also other furry intruders such as stray cats, rodents, mice, raccoons.

The most convincing reason urging me to buy this product is that it generates the widest high-frequency sound range (from 13,500 to 45,500 Hz) out of all devices currently available on the market. It also means a larger variety of animals will be got rid of once the device is on.

The lowest setting could eliminate rats, foxes, and weasels. The middle level would be effective for stray cats, badgers, and skunks. For these two settings, I can hear the continuous pitching noise when standing within 1 metre around.

My kids feel a bit irritated while playing quite close to this device, so I have to move it to the garden fence to reduce any negative impacts on them.

Lastly, the strongest setting, in combination with alarm and intense flashing LED light, would be a scary threat to wild animals, namely bats, birds, rodents. This highest level emits high-pitched sound over 24,500 Hz, which is far higher than humans’ auditory range. However, the alarming sound is still annoying to me.

This item is workable for a 90-square-metre area only, which is suitable for limited places such as a backyard or a small swimming pool. Thus, you should set this device right in the region where you do not any animals wandering around.

Quite different from other traditional designs, this product is attached on top of a sturdy pillar and plugged on the soft ground only, not be anchored on the wall or other surfaces.

This item also wins my heart as it is powered by solar energy, as it works and recharges by itself without my notice. Besides, it does not consume any of my effort for maintenance due to its water-proof design.

    Rechargeable batteries and solar charging panel Withstand any weather conditions Cruelty-free to animals

This is a must-buy product to deter destructive animals away. Do bear in mind to set up the device under the sunshine, facing directly to the directions where unwanted animals come from for maximum effectiveness.

3.Bird-X PRO Electronic Bird Repeller Version WP

Instead of targeting many types of invasive animals like most of the current ultrasonic bird repellent devices, Bird-X has launched a special version, namely Pro Bird Repeller Version 2, that solely focuses on deterring woodpeckers and sparrows.

This model creates the natural bird sounds, namely alarming clank from birds of prey and the calls from natural predators of woodpeckers and sparrows. These moaning sounds go off every five minutes and they would threaten and alert smaller birds to fly away from the danger.

Amazingly, this model is ideal for large regions such as farms and fields as it can cover up to one acre. It is truly a powerful model producing 105-110 dB sounds, which are as noisy as the sound of a music concert and an ambulance siren within 1 metre radiant. These blaring sounds would chase woodpeckers and sparrows away.

One thing to be addressed is that the sound emitted from this model ranges from 3,000-5,000Hz, which falls within the auditory range of humans and woodpeckers. In this manner, we would hear the sound all the time from 100-metre distance.

My whole family somehow feel disturbed, and my neighbors are quite unhappy with this as well.

The good news is this model is completely customizable with different levels of loudness, 8 sound recordings and adjustable timer (daytime, night-time, whole day and random).

As I am living in a residential area, I usually set moderate loudness and daytime mode. But if you use the model for your farm, I guess it should be set at loudest sound and whole-day mode.

This model, wistfully, is not structured with solar batteries. I have to install it near the electricity source to ensure that it runs continuously.

    Cover one-acre region Exclusively for woodpeckers and sparrows Various settings (loudness, timer, different bird calls) Extended energy requirements of 110v or 220vAC or 12vDC

This is a wise investment to expel invasive birds from your large property such as farms and cultivated fields. But, please be careful with the abomination caused by such a loud and frequent sound.

4. Bird-X Yard Gard Electronic Animal Repeller

The next effective bird repellent sound that I would love to suggest is the Bird-X Yard Gard. This product is ideally applicable to small restricted areas such as gardens, lawns, koi ponds, swimming pool decks.

The cogent reason why I make a purchase it runs with a motion sensor. Once any animals intrude within 10 metres, the machine detects the movement and gives off such threatening sound to ward off these animals. For me, it is a good feature as I do not need to hear the sound all day long.

This version does indeed eliminate a few types of birds away, but I realize that it works best for other ground, larger animals such as dogs, deer, raccoons. I must pay attention to the pet dogs in my neighborhood to see whether they are disturbed or not.

The next good point is the detailed sound levels. Normally, the other devices are categorized into low-middle-high or 1-2-3 level, thus I have to reread the manual to choose which level is workable for what kinds of animals. But this model paints another picture, as it takes me no time to adjust as the names of specific animals are already clearly painted around the button.

This product works on 4C batteries, which can last for about 1 month of constant working. The batteries are non-rechargeable, so that they will be replaced after a while. After a long time of using, I think the plugged cord would be the best as it remains stable and continuous working.

This model emits high-frequency sounds that do not harm humans, and sometimes I do hear the noise for several settings. And I found that if this model exposes to moisture in the air, the frequency will change accordingly and everyone can hear the noise from a distance of 20 metres.

    Motion-activated feature 8 recorded sounds for specific animals Cover up to a region of 350 square metres

Here comes another portable bird control device for your family. However, its efficacy is sometimes affected by the moisture in the air.

5. Cleanrth TSBR620 Super Advanced Sonic

One ultrasonic bird repeller does it work is the CleanRTH Advanced Ultrasonic model. This gadget catches my attention due to its triple scanned technology, which detects the body heat instead of body movement.

Firstly, this model works efficiently in a large region of over 1,000 square meters. It can detect the body heat within 35 metres in a frame of a 120-degree arc. If animals come from either side of the machine, it is still applicable. But always anchor the device facing towards directions where the unwanted animals appear.

This model is pretty flexible with separate functions, such as each sensor for strobe light and ultrasound, level of frequency, different sensitiveness (limit or extend the infrared areas). It is such a wise design as I can choose the proper function to blast birds away without interrupting our daily family activities during day time.

I am quite concerned with the loudness. When setting high frequency, there are only me and teenage kids hearing the clicking sound, yet not awful.

My relatives, who are in their middle-age years, feel nothing even though they are standing about 2 metres away from it. The troubles appear once I set a low-frequency level since the sound bothers my neighbors. So I prefer to set the high one.

    Effective for an area of 1,100 square metres Combined with powerful strobe light 3 adjustable modes (all day, motion-activated, always off)

I believe this device will bring peace to your living area. This is a trust-worthy gadget for your garden.

6. Bird-X Pro Electronic Bird Repeller Version 1

Here comes another top-quality electronic bird repeller from the Bird-X company. This is the 1st Version of Pro Bird Repeller especially targeting pigeons, starlings, sparrows, and gulls.

Quite similar to the advanced version, this model performs 8 distinctive noises naturally recorded bird distress calls and predator calls to disorient, frighten pest birds away. I feel free to try all the noises to check which one works best for my current situation.

This model is completely programmable and flexible in choosing the proper settings with timer and volume levels. One smart function is random mode.

This mode allows us to activate calls in nonnumerical order, not in order from 1 to 8 as listed. I think it is a brilliant idea as birds sometimes get familiar with the repetitive sound, the unexpecting noise would chase birds away more efficiently.

I recognize that this version is most effective for starlings and sparrows as it produces 3,000-5,000 Hz sound, falling into the hearing range of these bird types. Apart from it, the loud blast of 105-110 dB makes pigeons warn pigeons of not coming to this protected area.

Again, such loud noise coming from this device somehow annoys us as well. For some periods, I turn it off during night time in order not to be disturbed by such high-pitched sound.

I have to say that it is a persuasive product for chasing birds away. But always be aware of the annoying blast and limited energy source requirements.

7. Aspectek Electronic Ultrasonic Pest Animal Repeller

I am also pleased to include Aspectek Ultrasonic Aminal Repeller in my recommended electronic bird repellent due to its portable design, affordable price yet powerful.

This item emits a sound of high frequency ranging from 15,000 to 18,000 Hz, which is the hearing range of some types of birds, deer, rabbits, squirrels.

I am pretty impressed with the extended cone type signal area up to 150 degrees, increasing the chances to cast unwanted animals away.

However, the wise cats would find other ways to approach the device from the back or climbing on the wall to avoid such annoying sound. I think it does happen to most of the devices, not only for this model.

I am not worried that the emitted frequency will be changed by the moist in the air, especially in the rainy season. After a long time of using, I realize that it works stably under any weather conditions, no matter what it is hot, foggy or pouring.

This product comes with 5 levels of ultrasonic waves for particular types of pests and animals. I also find it is a convenient product with an adaptable time setting, motion sensor, volume control for sonic alarm.

Generally, the alarm is loud as the frequency is within humans’ hearing range. But it depends on your age, hearing ability and space, so please try all sounds and levels to pick up the most silent setting for yourself.

This model can be run on 4C batteries for about a month, and then I directly plug in the outdoor electricity source. Unfortunately, the charger does not fit in the standard electrical box, as it is too big. So I have to look for a smaller adapter to connect to the energy. I wish the producer could fix this problem.

    Work stably, hardly affected by moisture in the air Loud sounds affect animals: cats, some birds, skunks

In spite of its deficient plug-in charger, it is still a value bird control device for my garage, swimming pool. And I can carry it along whenever going camping as well.

8. Humutan Ultrasonic Bird Repellent

Another motion-activated bird deterrent that should be on my list is the Humutan Ultrasonic pest repellent. This one immediately catches my sight as it completely runs on solar energy and its ET-alike look.

This gadget work on a detection area of 110 degrees only, so it is suitable for a smaller place with erected fences and walls. To take good advantage of its infrared area, I place it in the closed corner of my fence, facing towards the main entrance, where the wild animals mainly come from.

I realize that this model produces 18,000-40,000 Hz, which is an ideal frequency for larger animals such as large birds. And sometimes, it works on house cats, dogs, several types of mice and rabbits as well. Red light and strobe light are also combined for increasing effectiveness.

One good thing is the passive infrared sensor (PIR) works quite well. It shortly detects the movement and triggers the ultrasound within a second, the strobe light and red light are activated right after that. I can see birds, particularly pigeons, flying away once the lights are on. Sadly, it seems not effective for squirrels and large dogs.

This product is mounted on the ground on top of a spike. The spike can be easily assembled from 3 separate parts. I am quite afraid of the plastic spike as it is thin and not that sturdy. I have no idea whether it can withstand strong winds or not.

    Workable on a 110-degree horizontal range Work on solar energy Easy to plug in and remove off the ground

Though the result of deterring larger birds away is not clear, it is still worth spending money as you can get rid of such annoying birds.

9. Bird-X Transonic Pro Electronic Pest Repeller

Apart from outdoor electronic bird scarers mentioned above, Bird X Transonic Pest repeller is exclusively for indoor use. It can be placed by the window, on your patio’s fence.

This product is innovated with 3 sound patterns and 3 sound volumes with the same high-frequency for all. The recorded sounds are quite similar to squeak shriek noises, as they sound like the moan of animals get caught or hurt.

This noise waves disrupt pest communication and their feeding habits, which works best for bats, mice, and other insects. But my family is haunted by it. I am not sure that I would use it for the long term.

This product can cover a limited area of about 100 square metres, which means my whole house and a part of my garden. If I need to drive insects away from my garden, I should lay it by the window or stairways, facing toward the garden.

One thing that should be noticed is the cord is about 0.5 metre long-only, so I always put it close to the electricity source.

I think this model is ideal for small family use with not serious bird problems. Some people may find the sound is too loud, but the trouble will be gone if you place the device in a different room with your family rooms.

10. Bird B Gone The Bird Repeller

Let’s put such noisy devices aside for a short while, here comes a portable spinning Bird B Gone Repellent. I have to emphasize that this model is not an ultrasonic pigeon repeller, as it uses the spinning movement to prevent birds from landing on the guarded area. It is appraised as an animal-friendly deterrent.

This product is outstanding, with adjustable arms reaching up to a 1.5-meter diameter. These arms are constantly spinning with the power of solar energy.

When the batteries are fully charged, it rotates at a pretty fast rate. This item works directly on the place where it is mounted only, not prevents birds from a distance.

There are 4 suction cups in each corner of the base. I can mount them on the outdoor tables or decks to avoid the birds. These 4 cups gradually lose their strength to secure the device, so I have to replace them all after 3 or 4 months.

As I expected initially, this device cannot stand under extreme weather. After 3 months under the sun, it turns into brittle, since I can feel that it would be cracked if falling off from a low chair.

Amazingly, the device runs on solar energy. It is also equipped with 2 AA rechargeable batteries, but I can feel it is not as powerful as the solar energy does. It rotates slower in the mild day. I guess it would be useless when the winter comes.

In my perspective, this device suits small gardens with small coffee tables. It will help you to stay away from pesky birds without any noise.

Visualize Your Choices

Bird B Gone offers a variety of visual deterrents that are time tested and proven to keep birds away. Visual deterrents fall into three general classes:


Red-tail hawks and coyotes are bird predators. Our life-like decoys are a clear message to birds that your property is not safe.

Mock Predator Eyes

The distinctive predator eye—a black pupil, a yellow iris, and a bright red surround imitate the look of a large predator. This predator eye comes on a variety of deterrents including reflective scare diverters, balloons, and more.

Holographic Flash Tape

Holographic flash tape scares birds away with light, color, and motion. Bird B Gone has spools of flash tape that you can trim and hang easily anywhere. Our SpectrumV Holographic Bird Gel discs also contain holographic elements that reflects and creates visual hot spots that birds will try to avoid.

Customer Testimonials

  • Barry West, Swansea
    "This is a great looking product and really has kept the pigeons away for a while!"
  • Amy Thornton, Leeds
    "Three falcons later and the birds have still come back. I think I am going to have to look into a more long term solution."
  • Peter Jackson, Stoke on Trent
    "I've read a lot of bad reviews on these falcon decoys, they do look good, but you can't rely on them to stop the bird problem"
  • Terry Hawkins, Bournemouth
    "To my surprise this falcon has kept the gulls off my roof, it's a good low cost solution! I hope they stay away!!"
  • Margery Brunel, Plymouth
    "I have struggled with pigeons in my garden for years. after installing this decoy, I am still struggling! Not a recommended purchase!"
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How to Attract Hawks (For Other Pest Control)

While we’ve spent most of this article talking about hawks as pests, there is another side to the coin. Many cities have imported red-tailed hawks to help control the rock dove (AKA pigeon) population. You can also make use of local hawks to take care of a variety of pest problems.

The Garden

Attracting hawks to your garden can help eliminate all sorts of garden pests, from rodents to some insects. Sure, you will have to give up attracting songbirds, but the payoff might be worth it. Providing ample nesting and perching areas will give the hawks a spot to attack from, and keeping noisy people or animals out of the garden can help make the garden more attractive.

The Yard

Having a section of your yard with tall grasses or other flexible ground cover will encourage all kinds of mice and rodents to congregate in those areas. Hawks make for fantastic mouse repellents. You can also build nesting boxes to encourage hawks to stick around. Just make sure to have a bird feeder or other source of water available.

25 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Hawks”

Hawks are always attacking my birds in backyard so I try to put seed underneath bushes to avoid a prime target, sometimes I use party poppers to scare them away! They are pretty fearless.

I have so many different little ones needing the seed and fat but came home and spotted a hawk or falcon on my umbrella near the feeder. Little ones sing joyously in the morning. Big birds too I watch waiting on a higher roof even after dark.

I lost one chicken 5 wks ago to a hawk , the first time in 5 yrs of having chickens . He returned the next day looking for more and I ran after him clanging two garbage can Lids together. I used long strips of baling twine and red strips of fabric and flagged from fences to trees as much as I could and in the open area I took 3 , 7 foot apple tree cages and flag those in the area that the yard is open I’ve seen the hawk twice but I still have all my chickens . we do have a rooster and the other girls do respond to his call. From a distance I do believe the white chicken stand out for a Hawk’s View

They try to attack my flock it’s good as dead.

I feel the same way. Only differences is. I have 2 little Shih Tzu’s. One is 15 pounds and the other is only 9 pounds. I have 2 hawks that fly around in my back yard and hide(try) in the trees. I live in the suburbs. And I told my husband it has one time to land in my yard and it will be dead.

I just had a hawk attack my shih tzu in my front yard with me standing there. I called the police and asked what I can do , they said call the game commission so I did, they told me to call the police. I told the police I’m gonna shoot it and they said do what you have to.

It sounds as if your local game commission isn’t very well trained. I would suggest calling the state office and explaining the situation, then making sure it’s okay to shoot the hawk. In the event the hawk has protected status, they’ll make sure someone from the local office actually addresses the situation (and will likely hover over the employees there for a while to ensure they do their job).

As shooting a protected critter can lead to heavy fines or worse, it’s always best to take these precautions. The state office might even issue you a one-time permit if the local office is unwilling to assist.

We’d love to hear if and how this gets resolved, as incidents of raptors attacking small dogs are not uncommon.

I understand your frustration!
I got my elderly mom a puppy Shihtzu/yorkie right before Covid19. He has been a blessing for her do to this difficult time. I knew her neighbor had a Hawk nest. I was working in her yard and the Hawk came swooping over the roof down at the 10month old dog 10lbs. As I was standing there. I was watering flowers and was shocked too close. Luckily, Hawk didn’t get him. But landed in the tree staring at the dog. Not fazed I was started to spray it with water. Hawk flew off. Unfortunately, Hawks are PROTECTED under the LAW so it’s not worth killing and getting arrested. I am going to buy a protected vest and things to deter them. I have told my mom to go out with him. But there is no guarantee. I live in the mtn and have Shihtzu/Pomeranian 3.5lb dog so I am really careful do to Mountain lion, bobcats, moose etc.
Our dogs are family. Just like our children we have to take precautions to protect them from the World!

Watch the video: Aviary construction for Birds of Prey


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