I love wind chimes. Growing up my mom always had them in the yard, and although I hated them as a kid, now they seem serene. Especially those bamboo ones with the soft sounds. But, as a bird lover, I wonder: do wind chimes keep birds away?
The people who owned my house before me were avid bird lovers. There are feeders all over the yard and some return here year after year in the spring. There’s a particularly cheeky blue jay that lives in a tree just outside my office window and even my tenacious tree-climbing cat hasn’t managed to evict him from this spot.
Of course, birds aren’t always beloved. Maybe there’s some that are nesting in your yard, or particularly annoying magpies and crows (I’ve had these too!) that screech.
A beautiful bird song to one person is a too early alarm clock for someone like me who likes to sleep with the window open during the summer months.
Do Wind Chimes Keep Birds Away?
So anyway, back to the question at hand. The answer is yes and no, wind chimes can keep birds away, but it depends on several factors.
The question is, do you want to have wind chimes and birds in your yard, or are you looking for wind chimes that scare off birds? That will affect what advice works best for you.
As a rule, birds are afraid of loud, sudden noises. A sudden gust of wind that sets off a wind chime might scare birds. However, if you have wind chimes in your yard that make gentle sounds the birds will most likely get used to them.
Wind Chimes Aren’t The Best Solution to Keep Birds Away
If you really want to keep birds out of your yard, wind chimes aren’t the best option. While they will scare birds in the short term, sometimes birds adjust and ignore the sounds.
You’ll have more success if you use them in conjunction with other bird proofing techniques. Predator statues are great. You should also remove any obvious food sources and comfortable bath areas so there’s less incentive for birds to nest nearby.
There’s also commercial bird deterrents out there that can help too.
How to Have Wind Chimes That Don’t Scare Birds
If you want to have both wind chimes and birds in your yard it’s totally possible. Something to remember is that initially, wind chimes will probably scare off birds temporarily.
By choosing the right wind chimes and making your yard inviting the birds will likely return. A great way to do this is by continuing to feed birds, or adding bird feeders to your yard. Baths are also nice!
Water sounds are also a great way to attract birds, and these can somewhat counteract the noises made by wind chimes too.
More tips to prevent wind chimes from scaring birds:
- Pick soft sounding wind chimes, like ones made from wood or bamboo
- Keep your wind chimes in the same spot so birds can get used to them
- Find places that are partially sheltered from the wind so you can get a gentle sound without sudden loud noises
- Opt for smaller wind chimes since they’re not as loud – these can sometimes even attract curious birds
How to Use Wind Chimes to Scare off Birds
Now, just because they’re not perfect, it doesn’t mean wind chimes won’t help to keep birds away.Some wind chimes are better than others, so look for ones that are more frightening to birds.
Loud Wind Chimes
Since birds are scared of loud noises, loud wind chimes are the best option to scare them off. Try to pick ones that make a sudden noise, rather than one that will always be making a more gentle chiming.
Most of the time these are going to be made out of metal since wood wind chimes produce a softer sound.
Place Them in the Wind
This goes along with the whole noise thing – if you place your wind chime in an area that sees strong wind gusts it’s more likely to make noise. You might need to experiment with placement at first to find the best spot.
You can also move your chimes around the yard so birds don’t get used to the sound coming from a certain spot.
Use More Than One
Combine strategically placed wind chimes with ones in areas that you want to keep birds away from, like your patio. That way birds don’t just move to a different spot in your yard when they’re scared off.
If you want birds to be in your yard but just away from the patio or house, just set the wind chimes up in areas you want birds to avoid.
Pick a Shiny Wind Chime That Moves a Lot
Have you ever seen one of those metal bird repellents? They look like two shiny discs that spin around. You can mimic this design by choosing wind chimes that are shiny and reflective.
Birds don’t like it and even if your wind chime isn’t making a lot of noise it can still help keep them away.
Do Wind Chimes Keep All Types of Birds Away?
Say you’re trying to get rid of birds in your yard and you’ve picked a bird-deterring wind chime. You can hope that it will help keep the most annoying breeds away, right?
Unfortunately that may not be the case, but here’s some tips that might help.
Woodpeckers can be a nuisance for both noise and where they choose to peck, so Woody has to go. Unfortunately wind chimes aren’t very good at scaring off woodpeckers because they often peck higher up. That means that noises close to the ground don’t bother them as much.
You can try and hang your wind chimes high up, but of course that’s a challenge in itself.
Crows and Magpies
Wind chimes can help with crows and magpies, especially if yours are shiny and makes loud and sudden noises. While it won’t keep crows and magpies out of the top trees, hanging a wind chime up near eating areas might help them stay away from your food.
Yes, wind chimes help with pigeons too. They don’t like the noise and especially hate metal ones that reflect light.
Do Wind Chimes Keep Birds Away? – Final Thoughts
Wind chimes are a good tool if you’re trying to keep birds away, and can also be set up so that birds aren’t bothered. If you’re looking to deter, aim for loud and shiny wind chimes. Those wanting birds to stay around should pick ones with gentle sounds.
The most important takeaway here is that wind chimes can affect birds, but most of the time won’t deter them in the long run unless you take more thorough preventative measures.