Many species of birds can be a nuisance to people. Damage from birds comes in many forms and in varying degrees. Typical complaints in urban/suburban areas usually involve: messy accumulations of droppings; various noise disturbances; birds nesting or living in or on human structures; birds getting trapped inside structures; and physical damage to property. Birds in close proximity to people also can pose serious health risks. Accumulations of droppings (feces) can harbor a variety of bacterial, fungal, viral and protozoal diseases. And the birds themselves are often hosts for mites and various ectoparasites.
Three of the biggest culprits locally are feral pigeons (or European rock doves), various types of woodpeckers, and cliff swallows. Prevention and control of these species are addressed as separate professional services (see Pigeon control, Woodpecker control & repairs, and Swallow prevention).
Other local birds that commonly become a nuisance include: European starlings, English sparrows, house finches, grackles, magpies, great blue herons and resident Canada geese. Birds can have any or all of four levels of commitment to a given site: feeding, staging (or loafing), roosting (sleeping) and nesting. The level of commitment usually dictates the best method of control.
Approaches to control include: 1) cultural changes (remove sources of food, water and shelter); 2) frighten or harass; 3) repel with chemicals, noise or visual effects; 4) dispersal methods; 5) obstruction/exclusion; and 6) lethal measures or population reduction.
Depending on the situation we may use any of these methods, sometimes a combination of several. Generally, the solution involves removing the problem birds from the site and taking measures to keep them from returning to where you don’t want them. Common actions include: removing birds trapped in fireplaces or flues; removing nests from vents and soffits; obstructing birds with various commercial ledge products; cleaning up feces and chemically treating the area; and excluding birds from structures with screening or netting.
Introduced pest birds like pigeons, starlings and English sparrows are not protected and can be removed by lethal means (shooting and trapping/euthanasia). Songbirds and migratory native birds are protected at the state or federal level. However, they, too, can be removed by lethal means in certain situations by special permit.
Whatever your bird problem, we can help. Call us at 719-636-1014 for an investigation and prices.