Bird removal and Bird exclusion (pigeon, starling, house sparrow)


Birds are classified as a pest species when they roost in public areas. Several different birds may pose a nuisance for several different reasons. The most common complaints include pigeons roosting on building, pigeons leaving droppings everywhere. For these reasons, many people wish to have bird exclusion barriers installed or even have the birds removed.

The common pigeon is about 12 inches and length and weighs about a pound. Although pigeons can exhibit a variety of colors, most are of the blue-gray variety. Males are more colorful than females. Pairs mate for life, and share in the nest building and parenting duties.

The starling's aggressive nature and nesting habits have probably displaced more native songbirds than either the sparrow or pigeon. They feed on seeds and fruits, but are especially fond of insects and trash. In large numbers, they can consume and contaminate feed and food at livestock feedlots and food-processing facilities.

The sparrow is the most common bird in cities. Nests are a bulky arrangement of twigs on any available horizontal surface. Sparrows feed on grain, seeds, buds, fruit, insects and trash.

Removal and Bird Exclusion

If the pigeons are getting into a building, then it's a matter of removing them and sealing off all entry points into the building, to prevent further entry. If they're simply roosting outside on ledges and beams, then the only way to take care of the problem is to render that roosting habitat unsuitable. The basic idea here is to prevent the birds from roosting in a particular area.

The Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species acts prohibit the trapping, or killing of most birds, their eggs and nests, without a permit. Only house sparrows, starlings and pigeons are not protected by state or federal law. However, local ordinances may protect these birds. Nests in structures can be a fire hazard and a source of mite and insect parasites that can affect people. Life-threatening diseases can be contracted from their droppings.

The mechanical removal of birds and their nests is a good option. These three species also may be live-trapped. While, the release of birds, such as pigeons, even miles from the capture site, is ineffective as the birds are likely to return. Shooting is another option for control of unprotected species, but can be time-consuming and impractical when large numbers of birds are involved.

A psychotropic pesticide induces respiratory distress in birds, causing them to leave the area. Overdoses can kill birds, and use of the product is not permitted in some localities. Other chemical products include bird repellents. Several gel products are available. One or more lines of gel are applied like caulking to surfaces birds land on. The glue like gel does not contain poison but birds find them sticky and are reluctant to land. Gel products must be applied to clean, non-porous or sealed surfaces, and must be scraped off and reapplied periodically to maintain their effectiveness.

The first step is always to identify the birds causing the problem, and to discover what is attracting them. Once these are determined, remove what is attracting the bird, or simply exclude the bird. Generally the most successful methods rely on exclusion and habitat modification.

One means of exclusion is to frighten birds away. Generally most tactics repel birds for only a short time. Fireworks, firearm explosives, units that broadcast bird distress calls are commonly used. The success of scare devices is highly variable and depends on the type and number of birds, attractiveness of the site and alternate sites, timing, the type of devices used, and the skill and persistence of persons using the devices.

When birds get inside buildings, mist netting can be used. A mist net consists of very fine mesh that birds don't see until they fly into it and become entrapped. In addition to exclusion, habitat modification can be employed. When birds are roosting in trees, the trees can be pruned or thinned, making them less accommodating. Removal of the bird's food and water sources is a practical and effective means of control.

Some methods work some of the time. Others don't work at all. With accurate identification of the bird and of what is attracting it to a particular site, the proper control methods can be selected, and the problem can be solved.
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