Petersburg harbor turns to light show for bird deterrent

Petersburg’s vehicle accessible float is used for loading by commercial fishing boats and cruise ships. (Photo by Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

Petersburg’s waterfront will be getting a laser light show this year.

It’s the latest attempt to deter sea gulls and other birds from landing and defecating on the vehicle accessible drive-down float in South Harbor.

The harbor department has been using a noisemaker that birds are getting used to and they’ve tested out handheld laser pointers that seem to chase the birds away.

Harbormaster Glorianne Wollen told the harbor board in October that this is “this year’s fix” for the problem.

“We found for a couple hundred bucks these laser light shows that just have various patterns and we’re going to try and mount them up high,” Wollen said. “It’s light down there so I don’t think the human being will really recognize it as a big disco or anything but it’s enough to hopefully keep the birds from landing and roosting there.”

Wollen said the equipment is marketed for deterring birds and will look similar to laser light shows people project on their homes for the Christmas holiday season.