How to Keep Birds Off of Porch Railings

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Things You'll Need

  • Fake owl

  • Fake snake

  • Commercial bird repellent

You can relax and enjoy your porch once birds have been deterred.

Birds are fun to watch and helpful in keeping some pests away, but when they perch on outdoor furniture and porch railings, they often leave a mess. Sometimes bird droppings can stain wood and paint, leading to time and expense in its removal. The good news is that there are things you can do to discourage birds from perching on porch railings and garden furniture without completely ridding your property of the animals.

Step 1

Remove all pet food and avoid placing food within 25 to 50 feet of decks, porches and railings. Birds love pet food, especially larger species such as crows, blue jays and cardinals, which tend to be messier than other smaller birds.

Step 2

Place bird feeders 25 to 50 feet from decks, porches and railings if possible. The farther the better if birds roosting on porches and furniture are problematic. Birds will use any nearby object as a perch to scope and determine the safety of their food source until they become familiar with it.

Step 3

Avoid planting fruit trees or fruit-bearing plants near porches and garden furniture. Birds are attracted by both blooms and fruit and therefore will use garden furniture and porch railings when feeding.

Step 4

Purchase a fake owl (available at most garden supply stores) and place it in a visible location, either on or within five feet of the deck, porch railings or garden area where birds are problematic. A fake owl is great as a bird deterrent near established fruit-bearing plants.

Step 5

Place a fake toy snake on your deck. Birds will avoid areas inhabited by other animals that prey on them. If a fake snake is used, move it around occasionally.


Bird repellent products may also be considered to help deter birds from porches, railings and garden furniture. Some of these repellents include noise makers, spiders, and nontoxic chemical deterrents.

references & resources

Patricia Hill

Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several websites and organizations, including various private sectors. She also contributes to the online magazine, Empowered by a need to reveal that unhealthy food and diet is a source of health-related issues, Hill is currently working on a cookbook and website for individuals with Crohn's disease.