Design feature: include plugged support for 3 bird spikes

We have vultures roosting pretty much every night in several trees near our house and - occasionally - they end up on our rooftop early in the morning (see Note below).

I’ve confirmed that vultures have indeed tried to land on my Sky. To prevent this from happening for birds in general, I’ve added 3 spikes on my unit (credit to this forum).

It’s still early, but, so far, it has kept the vultures from landing on it.

Assuming there is room in the top part of the Sky unit why not include 3 capped cylindrical supports, level with the existing surface. Should a user have issues with birds, then the caps should be easily removable and suitable materials inserted. Instead of using galvanized wire (as I’ve done) I would rather that the Sky unit shipped with 3 pieces of pointed harder plastic that, should conditions require, would break before the top part of the Sky breaks off. This might happen if a bigger bird is holding on while flapping its wings (a not uncommon sight with birds in trees).

Such a solution to what is probably a fairly common problem with birds in general would mean much less stress on the gear than the alternative we have now of electric tape, galvanized wire, and cable ties.

Obviously, we who have already received our Sky units will marvel over the fabulous after-sales support offered by WF when they provide us with replacement caps :wink:

Note: The vultures we have are black and turkey. Carcasses are not all that abundant so they have evolved to be gliders to preserve energy. As such they prefer tall trees with open crowns and fairly big (dead) branches. They only end up in roof tops, and weather stations, when they struggle to take off in mornings with no wind or of only low speed.

Edits: Clarification

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Did anybody at @WFmarketing ever had a look to wind and rain data of those stations known (while posted :wink: for example here ID 6176 or in the photos topic) to have something added to the top of the Sky ?
I would expect additional issues for the calibration/CL at least for rain. Can you see that? And how deep is the impact ?

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That is indeed an essential question to get illuminated while also considering the value of a weather station with frequent distortion of data due to bird visits.

Some members have explored the impact of small bird visits on data. Ideally bird visits should be automatically detected and compiled data tagged accordingly.

An additional consideration is that frequent visits of larger birds - a black vulture weighs 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb) - may end up damaging the WF station. For me the option is between the added spikes or relocation of the station.

And shadows on the light sensors. Perhaps one spike on the North or south side where the sun doesnt shine would be good.

With the sensitivity of the haptic sensor I think anyone currently with bird spikes might be causing rain inaccuracies. Just lightly tap a spike repeatedly with a plastic pen to see what happens to rain readings.

cheers Ian :slight_smile:

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A few general comments:

  1. thanks for the continued bird abatement experimentation! Love it. Listening.
  2. the CL system for Rain (not deployed yet) will evaluate each installation and apply unique calibration which should account for any deviation from the standard performance when bird spike are added.
  3. CL System will use rain intensity from the haptic sensor as a primary, but one of many, data source to determine accurate QC’d hourly and daily accumulation values. This system with multiple data sources to corroborate, in addition to the onboard algorithms to detect and disqualify false bird rain, should negate accumulation skew from birds.
  4. luckily, the system is designed to get smarter with data over time. It’s certainly possible to develop additional algorithmic filters such as: when brightness immediately drops and the haptic feels vibration and the forecast calls for <20% precip then assume bird and disqualify. Possibilities, by design.

How is the system going to know?

Doesn’t have to know if there are spikes or not. Just needs to compare raw data vs. ref data.

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