Why Pigeons Like Solar Panels And How To Protect Yours

Rooftop Pigeon Proofing For Solar Panels
No Pigeons Are Getting Under These Solar Panels!

There are many factors that make solar panels a highly attractive home for pigeons. They really do provide a great home for them. Unfortunately, this is not so good for you if you have solar panels on your roof.

Shelter From The Elements

Solar panels can provide a solid shelter for pigeons. For one thing, they can usually fit underneath them with no problem at all. This gives them room to build nests and lay eggs. Since they can stay hidden underneath the panels, this is a good place to incubate the eggs in their nests until they hatch into pigeon chicks. It also provides protection for those chicks until they are old enough to fly out on their own.

Rooftop solar panels are ideal for this because they are flat, and are elevated parallel to the surface on which they are mounted. This gives pigeons a large area to take refuge under, even if it’s not a lot of panels.

Protection From Predators

Additionally, pigeons have a lot of predators out there. Bigger birds like hawks, falcons, & owls will often hunt pigeons because they just don’t fly as fast as their predators and don’t have the same level of advanced vision as birds of prey do. They instinctively know that a good hiding place will prevent a circling bird of prey above their head from seeing them. A falcon or hawk cannot see a pigeon hiding beneath a solar panel. Pigeons are very good a finding places of refuge from their predators. They are also good and working in groups to have lookouts perched out on rooftop ridges to keep an eye out for nearby predators.

Here in the valley of the sun, they tend to build nests and live underneath solar panels in late fall through mid spring before the high temperatures hit. Solar panels do a great job of keeping birds warm underneath since they tend to get warm as they collect the suns energy. However, during the warmer and hot months, they usually will not be under the panels during the daytime when it’s hot since solar panels tend to generate heat in excess of the ambient temperature outside. This will cook them and can they feel it! So they move to other areas during the day. This is the time they usually are foraging for food and nesting materials.

This usually means that if you have pigeons using your solar panels as shelter, they likely will have other areas on your home where they will perch. They will go anywhere on your property that’s convenient for them to perch during the day. This includes your windowsills, roof ridges, gables, eves, overhangs, and even on the ground if they can get significant cover.

They will even leave your property for a while if it doesn’t have good food or water sources. They will always come back to your home if they have built a nest there. To be clear, they will ALWAYS come back! They have extremely effective homing capabilities so they will always be able to find their established nesting ground. More specifically, your home if that’s where they have decided to nest.

Safety & Comfort

Another reason pigeons like solar panels so much is that they provide a good vantage point to watch out for predators. I mentioned that they also use roof ridges for this, but, they also like solar panels for the same reason. Anything that is elevated high off the ground provides them with a good point of view to see potential threats which they will always take advantage of.

Solar panels is that they are dense and can absorb some sound. This means that the environment underneath a solar panel is much quieter and therefore more peaceful than out from under the panel. This makes the birds feel calm and safe and further incentivizes them to nest underneath solar panels.

Something pigeons and all kinds of other animals experience on an ongoing basis is habitat loss. The more we build homes, factories, and businesses throughout the valley, the more natural habitat goes away in place of urban and suburban sprawl. This isn’t a reason that pigeons like solar panels, but as they lose their habitat, homes and homes with solar panels provide them with the habitat they need to survive and thrive in their new environment.

As I mentioned earlier, even though solar panels create a good shelter for pigeons; it creates a bad scenario for any homeowner that had them living under or around the panels.

Pigeons don’t typically nest or roost on top of solar panels because they are slick and hard for the birds to get traction on. They will however perch on the edges from time to time and this can scratch up the parts of the panels they perch on. They will also poop right on the panels themselves which will block part or the panel from absorbing the sunlight and causing them to produce less energy.

Potential For Property Damage

Your roof can sustain serious damage from pigeons nesting underneath your solar panels over time. Pigeons do tend to poop where they live and eat. They also typically build large nests and make a huge mess. As they do this, the acidity of the droppings can cause erosion of asphalt shingles and deteriorate the sticky seal that keeps the shingles sticking together making them less water proof. This process is accelerated whenever it rains. For roof tiles, when it rains the acid that is in pigeon poop can run down into the underlayment and eat the felt away creating leaks in your roofing system.

When pigeons build nests underneath and around solar panels, it can impede into the hardware of the panels and cause damage to the wiring and components that make them operate. The acidity of the droppings can be highly corrosive and do all kinds of damage to the solar panel hardware.

One more potential risk to seriously consider is fire! It’s not that common, but still a risk to be aware of. If pigeons build up enough nesting materials underneath and or around solar panels, it can be a danger. When summer time comes around and brings high temperatures with it, all that material on the roof will quickly dry out and become tinder. Then the solar panels can get really hot from gathering sunlight all day. This can then cause the bird nesting materials to combust and start a fire.

The Best Course Of Action

The only way to really prevent pigeons from taking residence around your solar panels is to install solar panel safe hardware that keeps them from gaining access. If they can’t get underneath your panels, there won’t be an issue there.

If you have solar panels on your roof, it’s a really good idea to inspect them frequently for any bird infestations. You really want to make sure you don’t allow any pigeons to make a home from your panels. If you ever find that you do have a pigeon infestation in your solar panels, you will want to get that taken care of as soon as possible. This will ensure you panels work as they are supposed to and do not sustain any damage.

I don’t recommended you climb up on your own roof and try to handle this yourself. Getting a pigeon infestation out of a solar panel array and keeping them from coming back can be difficult and dangerous. It requires thorough cleanup which can cause you to get seriously ill. Then, after cleanup, you have to put up barriers of entry with some very specific hardware in order to prevent them from getting into your panels again. Whether you call us to help, or get somebody else, please hire a professional to get the job done for you. You can get very sick from pigeon droppings or possibly fall off your roof!

If you don’t have an infestation, now is the perfect time to get a pro out to your home to install hardware that will prevent them from making your home their home in the first place!

Prevention & Mitigation

To deal with an already existing solar panel infestation, you need to get rid of all the nesting materials and waste created by the pigeons. Then the area must be thoroughly cleaned with water to get rid of any bird poop residue.

Then the next thing that has to happen is the installation of pigeon prevention hardware. The best setup is going to be strong, rigid, rust proof metal fencing with solar panel safe fasteners.

Here’s some images from a recent job we completed with this very hardware installed. It’s highly effective at keeping pigeons out of your solar panels!

Solar Panel Safe Pigeon Prevention
This is a good closeup from behind the front corner of the panel with the pigeon prevention mesh fencing wrapped around the corner in a way they can’t peck it loose.

Solar Panel Pigeon Fencing
Here’s a broad view of the front of the panels nice and protected from pigeons gaining access.

Solar Panel Pigeon Proofing
Here’s a close view of a front corner of one of the panels with solid, anti-pigeon fencing installed.

Solar Panel Pigeon Proofing Right Front
Here’s a closeup view of one of the sides. Notice how the top of the fencing is slightly above the top of the panel and stretched out past the bottom. This prevents them from having any point of access.

Solar Panel Pigeon Proofing Mesh Installed
It’s important to go the extra mile since pigeons can be stubborn and persistent. We use heavy duty wire on the corners and any seams to keep birds from pulling them apart.

Solar Panel Pigeon Proofing Left Front
If you look close at this zoomed in shot, you can see the heavy duty wire in place to ensure birds will not get in.

Solar Panel Pigeon Prevention Fencing
This mesh is heavy duty and pigeons cannot bend or peck it open. We make sure there’s enough vertical length to ensure birds cannot get enough leverage to bend up the fencing to get in.


Pigeons really do like solar panels for several reasons. They make a good shelter from the cold weather, and at night time during the hot summer months. Solar panels can absorb sound, making a more peaceful and enticing environment for the birds. They make both a good hiding place from predators, and can also provide a solid lookout at the same time for birds of prey that often hunt them down. They are ideal for nesting to hatch eggs since they are hidden from predators and provide good warmth during the fall and winter months.

Of course, having pigeons living under and around your solar panels can do some major damage to your home. For this reason you want to make sure you get rid of any infestation that happens as soon as possible. I even recommend you take preemptive action to protect your investment before any birds can create a home from your panels.