Small Birds Causing False Rain

Afternoon - I installed the Sky unit this morning (all very exciting). Just noticed a small bird perched on the top of it and then got a reading of moderate rain. This is a bit of a worry as the garden is full of birds (in the country) and it could have a notable impact on the number of warnings/amount of rain recorded.

Unit is https://smartweather.weatherflow.com/share/2701/grid

Andy

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hello

reflective shiny objects nearby works wonders . birds hate reflective objects .
look for a nearby position or mount option without attaching to unit directly

tin foil wrapped a small bit of plastic , old dvds all works tried and tested i use reflective object dvds to keep also birds from sitting at top,of appartment window ledges and balcony from crapping everywhere

and congratulations on being the first uk air + sky user online…image

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If it becomes a problem here, I plan to try and figure out a way to do something like this around the mast:

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some users have added bird spikes around the top

That can actually cause more vibration.

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Any additional feedback regarding using bird spikes and how best to affix them? I have had a few issues with birds landing on my sky unit.

thanks!

you can try something like this or use a nearby reflective object , i found the nearby reflective object efficient as opposed to spikes that may interfere with readings or cause vibrations during high winds

.imageimage

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I wonder if this kind of reflective tape on the side of the dome and why not on the housing could scare enough birds without altering the haptic sensors for rain ?

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Plastic Owls are pretty common as bird scarers here. You can perch it nearby and not influence the mast/station.

Recently, I created a set of bird spikes above a hummingbird feeder to prevent large birds (like California Towhees) from landing and crapping on the feeder. I used a couple of zip ties, and it’s worked flawlessly to prevent pesky perching. It’d be relatively easy to adapt this to the Sky – one or two zip ties around the circumference holding a handful of vertical zip ties in place. Only question is whether such a mod would affect the Sky’s readings? Perhaps a WF official could weigh in on this?

BirdSpikes

likelihood is the zip ties will move in windflow and possibly cause some false rain, the rain sensor in most cases is pretty dam sensitive to the minuscule of rainfall . as you have some experience of keeping the birds away look into using a nearby reflective object , i use it to really good effectiveness and not had any false rain for many many months by birds using it has a perch . i tried bird spikes though effective but possibly cause vibrations and block uv,solar readings periodically… brian

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Shiny stickers aren’t working for me. We get a bit of fog here and the bird is already acclimated to perching on the unit.
Does anyone know if there has been any testing to determine how spikes might effect accuracy?
Or thoughts regarding solid vs flexible (like wire ties)?

Erik

Most DIY attempts to date have been using vertical spikes held around the top ring of the Sky, above the wind slot. No official WF wind tunnel testing for these spike ideas has been performed that I know of, so the impact (pun intended) on rain and wind observations is an open question…as is whether the self-calibration code will ultimately be able to compensate for DIY modifications.

If I had a bird problem (I don’t), my attack would be to attach something like this to the BASE of the Sky (or even the mast itself):

20180205221953-c2c152e7-me

I would probably use stiffer wire versus this spring wire, and make the loops more vertical (if not a complete inverted wire kitchen whisk). Having the attachment point far away from the rain/wind sensors and spikes out at a wider diameter may be better for avoiding false readings, but again this is all speculation until someone books wind tunnel time and actually tests it…

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Here is what I ended up using. After several weeks I can testify that it works fine.
As an FYI when I was having the bird problem with the poo and all the Sky unit eventually quit reporting altogether. After cleaning up the unit and putting my “fix” into place I’ve had no further issues, other than an occasional bird shadow.
image

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Erik, can you detail your DIY bird repellant? Where did you find the holographic stickers? And what’s holding the skewers in place? I see the two zip ties, but what’s the black band beneath the zip ties? Electrical tape? And did you happen to try the reflective dots before putting the skewers on, or did you do it all at once? Curious minds want to know. :slight_smile:

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I tried the stickers first and they had no effect. I just left them in place as I figured that they wouldn’t hurt anything and perhaps the birds would associate them with the skewers.
The black you see is indeed electrical tape, used to provide a less slippery surface to help keep the skewers in place. Then just the wire ties as you can see in the photos.
I consider this a stopgap measure until a supported fix is provided.
If you are still interested in using stickers I found them on Amazon. They are listed as scratch off, though they seem pretty robust.

Thank you for the details, sir.

I actively invite birds to my yard with several feeders. It’s just hard to say, “Welcome feathered friends. Just don’t touch that thingie on the roof!”

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Now. THAT’S the quote of the day, week and month!

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Agreed! A great comment!!!

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It may have been posted somewhere but I have not seen it .My realisation this afternoon- I got a false rain reading today and I suspected a bird landing on the SKY, ( we got lotsa natives here) I checked the rain event time and it matched perfectly with a simultaneous drop in lux and UV - sure you could have a tiny cloud cause it, but my reasoning on an otherwise clear day is that the bird shaded the sensor as it landed on the SKY and also caused the reading, sure seems to match up here.

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