Small Birds Causing False Rain

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 ?



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?


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

1 Like

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)?


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):


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…


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.


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:


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!”


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


Agreed! A great comment!!!


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.


There have been a few reports exactly as you described.


I have been planning to remount my PTZ camera anyway, one sure way to tell if it is avian invaders I guess- as my beehives are also only about 20m from the SKY we may even get a swarm landing there as it is that time of year as well. Pics to follow hopefully :slight_smile:


They do it all the time with mine. I actually seen small song birds trigger rain and I have several juvenile Doves that like to land on it.

Here’s a shot of the last one which I got a rain notification but no registered rain (at least not yet-I’ve had several of these and I believe it’s the false rain correction WF has been working on). The rain showing is from a bird at 7:00 am (that one only shows a spec of the bird in a few frames, must of perched on the side not in view of cam).


I’ve tried putting reflective stuff around the area but it hasn’t helped(didn’t think it would since the birds don’t care about all the solar panels covering my roof). I’m going to put a plastic owl up the next(probably today) and if that doesn’t work it’s bird spikes.

I’ve had enough false rain that my rain machine skipped watering the last 3 days, but most of that was from when I shortened my mast and mounted my cam on it (Sky was sitting on top of chimney while doing this and where it picked up most of the rain as it vibrated in the wind). I actually managed to take the mast, remove the Sky and remount it w/o getting a rain notification.


I put up a plastic owl this afternoon. Didn’t seem to help with this Dove, he did fly in from the west from bellow so he may not of even seen it (it’s right behind him-hard to see in current lighting). I thought about putting it where he’s perched but felt it might get blow over easier. At least he didn’t perch on the Sky this time. The last thing I’m going to try before bird spikes is reflective ribbon attached to the mast just bellow the Sky.


I noticed today that a broody Magpie choosing the SKY as its roost - and eclipse the sensors at about 12:24 hours (when it saw me leave to go wherever) -That our SKY decided not to give a false rain registration, however the Weather Display software registered the event… Nice- -Absolutely no negative reflection on Weather Display software, Beautiful data !-oops, just realised I posted this in the wrong section, edited for typo

1 Like

Hi David, @dsj

Quite often I can confirm that false rain was a bird because it shades the light sensor. I am guessing you must have considered using the combined dimming and vibration when a bird lands to automatically disregard the false rain. It is as if we have an eye watching for birds :slight_smile: Here is todays example:

cheers Ian


Great idea, Ian. That just might work when used with other methods.

1 Like