Bird-Proofing: Removing Birds Nests From Eaves Can Be Illegal
Are birds nesting in the overhanging lower edges of the roof on your commercial property? If so, you are probably interested in removing the nests (not so fast) and bird-proofing the area. Most common birds choose to nest in trees and similar structures. If a bird has chosen to nest in your eaves on your property, there is a good chance that bird is fully protected by law. Let’s talk about when and how you can legally proceed with removing birds nests from your eaves.
What Law Protects Birds Nests?
Many people assume that if a bird’s nest is plaguing their property, they have the right to relocate or remove it. This is not the case. In some instances, the slightest human touch to a wild bird’s nest, eggs or young without the necessary permit could be a violation of federal and state-specific laws. Under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to remove or move nests that contain eggs or nestlings, even if the nest is in an inconvenient location and the birds are creating unsightly piles of poop or remains along your structure or underneath the nest. Violators can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $15,000.
Common Misconceptions about Removing Birds Nests
You should never assume that the bird’s nest is empty or that the mother bird has abandoned her babies or died. In most cases, the adult birds leave their nests temporarily to scavenge for food for their young or further nesting to protect the eggs. One major misconception is believing that you, as a human, are equipped to care for and feed any wild baby birds in the nest. The dietary requirements of wild birds varies depending on the species, but is always extremely specific. Not all birds live on worms alone. Many need to be fed a combination of live insects, spiders, fruits, and grains from their parents to have a chance at survival.
Legally Removing Birds Nests and Bird-Proofing
Even though some birds (like hunting game, non-native house sparrows, and European starlings) are excluded from the law, it is still wise to not tamper with their nests. Wild birds nests can only be removed from your eaves if you have a permit or are CERTAIN that the nest is unfinished and empty or that the birds have fully migrated. After the nest has safely been removed, it is wise to invest in bird-proofing services to deter future nesters.
KEVCO offers several safe, humane bird-proofing options. If you need high-quality bird proofing services in the DC Metro area, give us a call at (301) 258-9750 or contact us here for commercial bird proofing info. We’d love to help.