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Pigeons are annoying since they make aggressive cooing noises near my house. Considering many options for their dispersal, it seems lasers are one options since for some reason the lasers drive the pigeons crazy. In one video pigeons are completely dispersed by a 150mw green laser, making it appear to be an attractive option for dispersing my pigeon problem.

However I am concerned that maybe the lasers will continue into the atmosphere past the pigeons, and will affect air traffic....Obviously this is not worth the benefit of dispersing pigeons.

Is this totally out of the question? Are there any rules of thumb one should follow here to be on the safe side to not affect aircraft?

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Pointing a laser at the sky is always a risk, and depending on your location, may be an even larger risk. –  fooot Jun 6 at 21:14
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I think pointing a 150mW laser would be really mean because that is powerful enough to disorient or even blind humans too. Won't a 5mW red laser be enough to annoy pigeons? –  shortstheory Jun 7 at 4:10
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Someone sees you using a green laser and drops a dime on you. The cops show up. The conversation goes like this: "Gee, no, Officer, I was just scaring pigeons... honest!" How do you think the rest of the story goes? –  Skip Miller Jun 7 at 17:23
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You could permanently blind pigeons with a laser I think, which would be an animal cruelty case even if you don't get prosecuted for interfering with aircraft. Use a super-soaker or a garden hose to squirt them instead. Or get a cat. –  GdD Jun 7 at 17:55
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@Cris :) To retrieve the cat, train a good dog –  woliveirajr Jun 9 at 13:56

3 Answers 3

There are cases where you can use a laser pointer safely, such as pointing out constellations in a dark field far from any air traffic, but as a general rule of thumb lasers should not be pointed skyward - not even to get rid of irritating sky rats pigeons.

Should you wind up illuminating an aircraft with your laser you can cause serious problems for the crew - inadvertent or not it could get you a visit from some very unhappy law enforcement officials.


There are many other ways to get rid of pigeons, some of which are used at airports and many of which are more effective (and safer) than your laser idea.
Your local Animal Control group may be able to offer some additional ideas.

(Avoid the "predator bird statue" idea - in my experience pigeons realize it's fake and use it as a toilet.)

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In some interview local airport hawker mentioned, that he has to let the hawks hunt to kill. If the hawk never hurt anything, the birds would learn it's harmless over time and would stop fearing it. (So yes, predator bird statue is definitely useless.) –  Jan Hudec Jun 6 at 22:06
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@voretaq7 I've a car which birds think as fake and do what you suggested. –  Farhan Jun 7 at 1:04
    
@Farhan "At least they don't build nests in it" ? –  voretaq7 Jun 7 at 1:22
    
I like the suggestions of birth control and asking a local animal control group. Good ideas. It's just I kind of want a enormous anti-pigeon "cannon" that can just be rid of them forever. Like a devastatingly effective anti-pigeon weapon. Disperse: with extreme prejudice .. so currently I am still seeking for a silver bullet. –  Cris Jun 7 at 20:38
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That weapon is a BB gun! I had a major pigeon problem that I was unable to solve until in desperation, I shot them with a Red Ryder BB gun that I received as a gag gift. It's not as cruel as you might think. It's probably more humane than blinding them with a laser. A basic BB gun doesn't fire pellets all that fast, and the birds weren't injured. They were however knocked off their perches and highly surprised by the impacts. A few shots and they decided never to come back. Maybe those birds are smarter then we realize... –  iLikeDirt Sep 1 at 1:01

I use a marshmallow gun to scare away squirrels and grackles from my bird feeder. The mini marshmallows are biodegradable (and yummy) and the gun's pop when it shoots is enough to get the critters running. In the uncommon event of actually hitting them, no permanent damage is done.

And in response to your question, I think you might end up blinding the pigeons and building up bad pigeon karma.

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+1 for bad pigeon karma. Yep you gotta consider that one. Don't want to get sent to pigeon hell as a blind pigeon forever. –  Cris Jun 7 at 18:55
    
And marshmallows ... +1 for that too. –  Cris Jun 7 at 20:39
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Once the pigeons figure out the "yummy" part, this might have a different effect than intended. –  Jan Schejbal Jun 14 at 21:05

This kind of laser is class 3B laser. You may not be allowed to possess it. Even if you are, this laser come with serious technical restriction such as deactivation if you point it upward.

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