Surprisingly, many birds choose to build nests near or on human construction, under the eave, over the rooftop, etc. For bird lovers, having birds nest on their properties is such a pleasure, while it’s not always a pleasing experience for some. In today’s blog post, we’re gonna talk about what to do if you find a bird’s nest nearby your home.
If you find a bird’s nest:
In general, the best thing to do if you find a bird’s nest on your property, say near the door, is to minimize your disturbance, stay at a respectful distance, reduce door traffics and postpone construction. Sometimes, where the birds choose as the nesting site is not always convenient for their human hosts. If the nest is blocking the entrance and there is no way you can remove it without disturbing its residents, try to contact the local wildlife agency to ask for assistance. What’s more, you should know when to check the nest. If you check the bird nest every day thinking that you’re just showing your appreciation and kindness, it could be quite annoying and disturbing. Instead, check every three to four days. If you accidentally find a newborn chick on the ground, think twice before you act. If it’s a hatchling, a very young bird without feathers who may fall out of the nest by pure accident, then gently out it back to the nest (wear gloves if available to avoid spreading disease). But look around to check if its parents are around before you pick up a fledgling who may leave the nest intentionally.
Should I go near and move the nests?
Let’s say if you find a wasted nest in or on your building, you can totally move it if the nest is empty. But if you find an active bird nest, it’d be better to leave it alone. Many yard birds are tolerant of occasional disturbances, but mother birds really will abandon their nests in response to major, continual disturbances. Allegedly, birds can detect human scent, but most birds don’t have such extraordinary olfactory nerves and no proof shows a bird’s sense of smell is cued to your smell. If you do inadvertently touch the eggs or the nest, rest assured that your scent alone won’t arouse any suspicion. Although parent birds won’t abandon their nests easily, chance has it that they (especially those short-lived species who are more alert to potential predators and willing to give up their temporary homes when threatened) would rather sacrifice the brood when they feel insecure.
There is a legal question about moving the nest without authority permission. Moving an active nest on your own will get you in trouble. Documented in the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, it is illegal to move or destroy an active nest, which is defined as one in which a bird has laid the eggs or is using it, for any native species in America (house sparrows and European starling are not included but most are covered), apart from exceptions to allow the control of certain birds for specific reasons by the local authority. Moving a nest at the wrong time without consultation and permission means you’re violating the law, and chances are higher that you get prosecuted. In conclusion, we do not recommend you to remove the nest and only in extreme circumstances should you consider a relocation. If the nest must absolutely be removed, contact the rescue organization (they have permits to deal with this situation) to take care of it.
What you can do about unwanted bird nests
Songbirds are blessings for bird enthusiasts but they’re nightmares for others. Loud birds could wake you up too early or keep you awake at night. As a matter of fact, nesting birds pose a great threat to our health and properties. They are household pests for several reasons: their droppings can spread bacteria and parasites, become a serious health hazard and they are stinky and corrosive as well; debris from the nest can clog gutters and drains and compromise the ventilation systems; birds will shred the insulation, siding of the housing materials or anything they can get their beaks on to build the nests. Over-disturbance will increase the likelihood that the adult birds abandon the nest; no matter how much you detest them, believe me, the last thing you want to do is forcing the parent birds to flee and leave the eggs and chicks to die. Nesting season usually begins early in March and ends in June and the nesting cycle of most birds only takes 4 weeks (2 weeks of incubation and 2 weeks of nurturing), so you can totally dispose of the wasted nest until then.
Before taking any action, contact your local wildlife authority to find out if you’re legally able to relocate the nest, and they will give you some advice on the best way to move the nest so that the nesting birds can continue to it after relocation. Beware if you remove the nest while the nesting birds are still in residence, you may get injured for mother birds could become aggressive around their nests and young. Go get professional help. A professional can remove a nest more safely and effectively, and even more importantly, he or she can help you prevent birds from coming back again. If you just simply don’t want nesting birds to destroy and decay your property, you might as well install a birdhouse to provide them with a safe shelter to make the best of both worlds.
Though it’s prohibited to disturb any sort of bird nests (birdhouses and natural ones) once the birds are in residence, you’re legally able to install a nest box camera into the birdhouse to take a closer look at those feathered creatures without spooking the inside residents. In this way, you can know exactly the time when the birds will use your birdhouse and timely clean and sanitize it after one brood. The bird box camera is an effective solution to help you figure out how mother birds raise the young and develop more respect for these fragile but tenacious creatures. Recently, Green backyard has launched a new collection of bird box/feeder/wildlife cameras for selection. Robust, high-quality cameras for outdoor applications!