Do Fake Owls Keep Birds Away?

Do fake owls keep birds away? This is a question that has been debated for years.

Some people swear by the effectiveness of fake owl decoys to scare birds, while others think they are nothing more than a waste of time and money. So what is the truth? Are owl decoys an effective way to scare away unwanted birds, or are they just a gimmick?

Read on to learn how effective plastic owl decoys really are, and compare this method with several other options to keep pesky birds from overtaking your yard or feasting on your garden crops. Discover the best bird deterrent for your home!

By the way, if you click on a link and then make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Are Owl Decoys Effective at Scaring Away Birds?

are owl decoys effective at scaring away birds

You may have seen owl decoys at gardens or farms before – a statue of an owl perched on a post, staring out with piercing yellow eyes.

These decoys are often used in an attempt to scare away smaller bird species, which can damage crops or spread disease.

But do they actually work?

In short, the answer is yes and no. Owl decoys can be effective at deterring some pesky birds, but not all. Birds that are particularly afraid of owls, such as crows and jays, are more likely to be discouraged by the presence of a decoy.

However, other birds, such as finches and sparrows, seem to pay little attention to owl decoys.

The Linfield College 2012 Study

In 2012, Linfield College in Oregon conducted a study of owl decoys as bird deterrents. The study found that decoys were effective at deterring birds from certain areas.

However, the study also found that decoys were not effective at deterring all types of birds. In addition, the study found that decoys were most effective when they were placed in areas where birds were already present.

The study concluded that owl decoys can be a valuable tool for deterring birds from certain areas. However, more research is needed to determine the most effective way to use them.

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Owl Decoys Require Some Time and Maintenance

If you’ve decided to use an owl decoy to deter pest birds, congratulations! You’re on your way to a less bird-y yard.

But using a plastic owl effectively will require some attention and time on your part as the homeowner.

First, monitor the decoy to make sure that it’s doing its job. If you notice that birds are still hanging around, try moving the decoy around to different areas of your yard. The key is to place it in areas that would be normal for an owl to be. They don’t generally sit in conspicuous areas during the day but prefer to be more hidden, so keep that in mind.

Second, keep an eye on the condition of the decoy. If it starts to look weather-worn or damaged, replace it with a new one. With a little bit of care, an owl decoy can be one effective way to deter birds from your yard.

How to Make an Owl Decoy More Effective

You can make your plastic owl more effective at scaring away birds by following a few simple tips.

First, make sure that your decoy is the right size for the bird you’re trying to scare away. Owls come in a variety of sizes, so using a smaller decoy to scare away a large bird will not be effective.

Second, position your owl decoy where it will be most visible to the birds you’re trying to scare away. If they can’t see the decoy owls, they won’t be afraid of them. Keep in mind that the decoy owl should be placed in a position that would be natural for it to be located, such as tree branches.

Third, change the position of your owl decoy regularly. Birds will quickly become accustomed to a stationary object, so moving it around will help to keep them away.

Finally, make sure that your owl decoy looks as realistic as possible. The more realistic it looks, the more effective it will be at scaring away birds. By following these tips, you can make your owl decoy more effective at scaring away birds.

Types of Owl Decoys Available

types of owl decoys available

There are several different types of owl decoys available to scare away birds. The simplest type is made of plastic and does not have any moving parts.

Some more deluxe models have a rotating head, and some even have illuminated eyes. In addition, some owl decoys emit a sound that is intended to scare away birds and other unwanted animals. They don’t like the loud noises. When choosing an owl decoy, it is important to consider the specific needs of your property.

If you have a small yard, for example, a plastic decoy may be sufficient. However, if you have a large property or are dealing with a particularly persistent bird problem, you may need to invest in a more elaborate model plastic owl, or use several plastic owls.

No matter what type of owl decoy you choose, it is important to place it in a strategic location. For best results, move the decoy regularly so that birds do not become accustomed to its presence.

Dalen Fake Owl Decoy to Scare Birds Away from Gardens, Rooftops, and Patios - Scarecrow Provides Chemical-Free Pest Control - Safe and Humane, 16" Great Horned Owl
  • INCREDIBLY REALISTIC: Our patented Natural Enemy Scarecrow Owl is extremely lifelike. Hand painted, so every detail mimics the presence of a real bird of prey, to provide effective and safe pest dissuasion that does not harm wildlife.
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  • NATURAL: The most effective Natural, Safe and Humane pest control product in the market. Safely keep your garden and home free from unwanted pests without polluting or using harsh and hazardous substances. The Owl can be filled with sand or gravel for additional stability in highly windy areas.
  • NOT JUST A SCARECROW: If you are an owl lover, you will be thrilled with our realistic Great Horned rendering. Besides being an excellent bird repellant, this magnificent work of art makes an amazingly unique outdoor/indoor décor. It is the perfect garden ornament.
  • LIFELIKE DESIGN: Made and hand painted in the USA to keep your garden clean, your fruits safe and your décor excitingly impressive. We offer you the best detailed, non-fading, and all-weather painted owl. If you are not satisfied, feel free to talk to us, and we will make it right.
Ugold Solar Powered Owl with Motion Detection, Silent Mode, Flashing Eyes, Rotatable Head and Realistic Hoots, Plastic Owl Decoration for Home, Garden, Patio and Fence
  • Solar & Wired Charging - The owl can automatically absorb solar energy through the solar panel at back of the head. In rainy or cloudy days, the user can also use the USB cable (in the package) to charge the owl .
  • Motion Activated, Bright Eyes, Rotating Head and Sounds - The smart owl has a built-in sensor in its head. The owl can detect objectives moving around it, and response with a pair of bright eyes, a rotating head, and realistic hoots. The owl will keep your garden safe, and get it full of vitality.
  • Silent Mode - You can mute the owl by turning the switch in case you or your neighbors get tired of hoots. The owl in silent mode won't make sounds, but other functions will continue working
  • Hand painted outdoor & Indoor Decoration - To present lifelike owls, we paint every single owl with hands. The owl is a great decoration for garden, home and patio.
  • Weatherproof, Size of 16.9" x 6.8" - The owl adopts outstanding structural design to ensure it can resist rain and other bad weather.

Other Types of Effective Bird Deterrents

If you’re considering alternative types of bird deterrents, spikes and rods are two effective options.


Anti bird spikes are an effective, long-term solution to keeping birds off ledges, signs, and gutters, and away from other areas where they are not welcome.

Installing bird spikes is a humane way to deter birds and does not require any maintenance after installation. Each spike is made of durable plastic and has a blunt end so that it will not harm birds.

The spikes are installed in a row and create an uneven surface that makes it difficult for birds to land and perch. Bird spikes are an effective deterrent against all types of birds, including pigeons, sparrows, seagulls, and crows.

If you are looking for a humane and effective way to prevent birds from overtaking your property, bird spikes are a great option.



Bird rods are an effective way to deter birds from roosting on ledges, signs, awnings, and other surfaces. The thin, flexible rods are made of stainless steel or another strong material, and they move with the wind to create an unstable surface for birds.

Install them following the manufacturer’s instructions, and you may notice a difference right away. They can be an effective deterrent for both smaller species and larger birds.

For us humans, the styles of rods available can have a decorative look to them, so they’re not as obtrusive as bird spikes.

For best results, keep bird rods in place year-round. Though they’re most effective at deterring birds from nesting sites, they can also help to keep other pests away. That’s because bird droppings can attract rats and other rodents, so by keeping birds off your property, you’re also reducing the risk of infestation.


How long do owl decoys last?

Owl decoys are a long-term solution to keeping birds away. With proper care, your decoy can last for years.

Do I need to put more than one owl decoy on my property?

The number of owl decoys you’ll need will depend on the size of your property and how persistent your bird problem is. If you have a small yard, one decoy may be sufficient. However, if you have a large property or are dealing with a particularly persistent bird problem, you may need to use several owl decoys.

What is the best type of owl decoy? 

The best type of owl decoy will depend on your specific needs. If you have a small yard, for example, a plastic decoy may be sufficient. However, if you have a large property or are dealing with a particularly persistent bird problem, you may need to invest in a more elaborate model plastic owl, or use several plastic owls.

Where should I put my owl decoy?

For best results, place your owl decoy in a strategic location. Move the decoy regularly so that birds do not become accustomed to its presence.

Are owl decoys effective against all types of birds?

Owl decoys are most effective against smaller birds, such as sparrows and finches. However, they may also deter larger birds, such as crows and pigeons.

Will a fake owl keep birds off my porch?

Yes, a fake owl can help to keep birds off your porch. For best results, place the decoy on or near the porch, and move it regularly so that birds do not become accustomed to its presence.

Do I need to take my owl decoy down during the winter?

No, you do not need to take your owl decoy down during the winter. However, you may want to store it in a protected location, such as a garage or shed, to prevent it from being damaged by weather conditions.

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Conclusion: Do Fake Owls Keep Birds Away?

So, what’s the verdict? Are fake owls worth it to keep pesky birds away from your backyard? Ultimately, that’s up to you.

There are pros and cons to using plastic owls, but if you’re bothered by the number of birds on your property it’s a low-cost option to consider.