It’s tacky glue, similar to the kind used in rodent traps. It comes under numerous names but is available online and at home improvement stores. It is used to coat rooftops to get rid of unwanted pigeons and other birds.
A robin that landed on a roof coated with the sticky gel product was taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The gel was applied to the roof of an Ogden business to get rid of pigeons. The product claims to discourage birds, without harming them.
Dalyn Erickson from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah says it is killing all kinds of birds in alarming numbers. She says it coats their wings. "It really sounds like it’s a great thing and it's really not. It's inhumane. It renders the birds flightless and unable to find food or find water they can't insulate, they can't protect themselves from weather and they die a long slow horrible death. "
Erickson says the glue, unlike that on rodent glue traps, stays sticky for more than a year, even if the birds get wet. Some of the bird repellents also include pepper. "Some of these products similar to this will also put pepper in them which is a skin irritant. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable for the bird well, it is. They can't get if off, and it is sticking to their skin and burning them the whole time it is on them."
She says the rehabilitation center has taken in all kinds of birds that have landed in the glue, including protected species. "We've gotten owls, warblers, robins, falcons"
The robin they are rehabilitating will be at the center for the next six months until it molts, and is free of every last glue covered feather.
Erickson says there are more humane ways to handle bird problems. She says putting up roof spikes will not harm birds, but will keep them away areas where they are not wanted.