Sea birds will always be circling and looking for somewhere to land. They are looking for food, somewhere to nest and to raise their young. The trouble is that in the middle of an expanse of water, the choices are limited. How inviting is a structure that is surrounded by a menu of crabs and shellfish?
It comes as no surprise then that there is a need for oil rig bird control. In fact, it’s not just oil rigs but also other offshore structures such as wind turbines and helidecks.
But why is it such an issue for these offshore structures and why should seabirds not be allowed to nest wherever they want? Let’s take a look at the issue with nuisance birds and oil rigs and what can be done to protect the staff and equipment:
You may only have the odd bird that comes and perches on top of your rig but let’s be clear – one bird will soon become several birds. They will come, others will follow. They will build their nests and cause issues. As well as the noise they make, they are also a hazard to off shore structures such as oil rigs.
Bird nests on oil rigs are potentially damaging to the equipment and structures. The debris can cause damage, not to mention the bird droppings which, concentrated in such a small area can cause a whole host of problems. Seagull guano is very acidic and can cause damage to paint for a start.
In addition to the faeces being potentially damaging to the structure and paint work, seagull guano also carries diseases such as salmonella. When you consider a seagull’s diet of crab and other shellfish, what comes out of the other end is likely to contain all sorts of nasties. You need to protect your team, especially considering that they live in such close proximity to one another.
The dry faeces dust can be inhaled by site workers. It can be dispersed into the air by wind and the wind created by helicopters landing. It can also cover up potential landing marks on the helideck making it difficult for the pilot to land properly.
Wet guano is slippery – there is an additional risk that fresh droppings can be a slip hazard for workers.
Consider the potential for bird strikes! Hungry birds looking for food can be aggressive. Those with young chicks can also be threatening. The helideck needs to be protected as well. It is a fact from the Helicopter Ass Int. that for every 1000 foot of descent, the chances of a bird strike impact increase by 32%.
As well as protecting potential landing spots with bird spiking or bird netting, bird hawking is another oil rig bird control method that is widely used in the industry. Flown for periods of time over the site, the hawks act as a deterrent, encouraging these nuisance birds to move on.
This is not a quick fix and takes experience and knowledge to be executed effectively. It can take months, even years, to fully protect a site from potential bird hazards. Investing in good oil rig bird control will save money and time in the long run.
If you have any questions about bird control for oil rigs or other offshore structures and would like to discuss this with the team, please do get in touch.