Remote control water squirter - Is there such an item?

vbimport

#1

After a few years of feeding outdoor birds, we often get nuisance birds such as crows and the odd pigeon, which raid the feeders.

Keeping the crows off the hanging feeders turned out be quite simple in the end - Just attach two dome-shaped wire hanging baskets around the feeder, which lets the small birds at the feeder, while keeping out the crows.

However, I’ve one more feeder which is suction-cupped to the window and it seems like one pigeon has taken a liking for it, raiding all the food within minutes.

One idea I thought of that should discourage the pigeon from coming back is to set up a remote control water squirter or sprayer aimed at the feeder and active it using a remote control once the pigeon is spotted on the feeder. :bigsmile:

After thinking it would be just a matter of looking up eBay, Amazon, etc. I can’t find any such thing out there. There are plenty of motion-activated squirters such as for protecting ponds, seedlings, etc., but nothing that I can find that can remote-activated.

Does anyone know of a device where you can press the button on a remote control and it briefly shoots a jet of water like a toy water pistol?


#2

How about making one from the washer mechanism from a scrapped car?

It would be easy to make a wired remote control, but wireless would be more of a challenge.


#3

That’s a good idea :iagree:, I’ll try asking the local car mechanic the next time I see him.

A wired connection would be fine as the window can be opened and is near a wall socket, so I could easily use a 12V transformer plugged into a remote controlled socket switch (which I have.)

The pigeon is super-sensitive, i.e. as soon as I pop my head in the doorway of the room, the pigeon flies off and of course figures it’s safe as it’ll be long gone by the time I get anywhere near the window, let along the outside door. So this is where I would love to catch it by surprise, particularly if I could watch it with a mirror or crude CCTV setup to I can remotely squirt it before it spots me. :wink:

When the small birds feed (mainly chaffinches, siskins, tits and a robin), they will often happily eat way even while I’m standing right in front of the window. Bizarrely, there was recently a Chaffinch that perched on top of the feeder staring in the window at the TV watching “Take Me Out”. It finally flew off once we turned the TV off after the programme ended.


#4

I look forward to seeing what sort of water weapon you come up with. :flower:

Grey squirrels are our biggest problem. And cats. :a

And worst of all, a general lack of birds these days.

The fields used to have hundreds of Golden Plovers & Lapwings in the winter, accompanied by Merlin, Peregrines, Meadow Pipits and Linnets (and one year a Snow Bunting!). In the garden there would be dozens of Greenfinches, with occasional but regular visits from Siskins, Blackcaps, Brambling & Reed Buntings.

There was even a resident flock of 50+ Tree Sparrows, but they disappeared practically overnight 20 years ago (went away for a fortnight in June 1995 & haven’t seen a single one since :().

But these days even the Greenfinches & Starlings are rather scarce.

And now I come to think about it, I haven’t seen or heard a Yellowhammer for several years. :sad:

On the up side Red Kites have moved into the area - I caught a brief glimse of one a couple of months ago and my sister says she has seen them several times. But I would much rather have some of the old common species back.


#5

What a good idea, a water squirter for scaring off pigeons.
Unfortunately pigeons, crows and magpies are all we have left.
Between that lot and the numerous pet and feral cats here all the small birds have gone, even the ubiquitous blue tit.

I’ve stopped feeding birds as it was just encouraging the carrion to fight and make a horrendous din usually early in the morning. They don’t seem to enjoy eating pigeons, unfortunately.
We are over run with those and the cats don’t seem to get them either.

My neighbour was complaining about the noise and said the council should do something about it, well that’s a laugh! I did point out that her shed roof was covered in bread to feed “the birds” and she realised that was making it worse.

When I moved in here about ten years ago, we had most of the small garden variety birds, now, not even a hedge sparrow. and to make it worse, no
butterflies either.

Sorry to the cat lovers, but a cat a day (or more) keeps the small birds away


#6

[QUOTE=voxsmart;2760724]
Sorry to the cat lovers, but a cat a day (or more) keeps the small birds away[/QUOTE]
:iagree:

Unfortunately if you are pro-wildlife, you have to be anti-cat. They do an enormous amount of harm to birds & mammals (in that respect they are practically human). Regardless of what their owners say, cats hunt things. Unless your cat is kept permanently indoors it will be hunting wildlife.

But don’t underestimate Corvids (magpies, crows etc.). They are fascinating birds and unjustly maligned (woodpeckers are probably far more prolific nest-raiders than magpies, not that there’s anything wrong with that - everything’s found a niche to exploit). The New Caledonian Crow is a contender for the most intelligent non-ape on the planet.

A domestic cat on the other hand has the dubious distinction of simultaneously discovering & causing the extinction of the Stephens Island Wren - the only known flightless passerine. In February 1894 a single cat was brought to the island off the coast of New Zealand after a new lighthouse was built. By June the lighthouse keepers were being brought dead carcasses of a species of small bird by a cat and in July it was identified as a new species. But within a couple of months there were no more. It is likely that no human ever saw a Stephens Island Wren alive.


#7

So far I haven’t seen any squirrels around here before. There is just the odd cat. When we had a cat, we kept it in during the day to keep it away from the birds.

In case anyone is interested, this is what I used for the standard nut feeder to keep off the crows, i.e. two hanging baskets enclosed like a dome. I’ve heard this method is also pretty effective at keeping out squirrels also, although obviously not around like a fencing post as I’ve done: :slight_smile:

This is the exposed feeder that has the pigeon problem. I already cleared up an awful mess of large droppings on the window sill a short while ago.


#8

//youtu.be/O9-rE5RBZvU

For anyone who is concerned about the squirrel, he still raids our other two feeders and the vegetable garden. The tiny amount of Vaseline used is non-toxic, the kind used for lip balm. He quickly learned that this feeder was not worth the trouble, so we have not put more on the pole, and the birds are delighted to actually get some of the bird seed.


#9

Great idea Seán!

It would be better if it was motion sensor activated as then you’d not even have to be there?

[B]Wombler[/B]