If you’re feeling driven to the brink of frustration by constant scrabbling or fed up with the mess left behind by birds nesting in your eaves, you’re likely wondering how to effectively remove them. The good news is, there are steps you can take to bird-proof your roof and keep these feathered friends from making themselves at home. However, it’s not always as straightforward as you think. In this article, we’ll cover why bird-proofing installation is important and how you can go about doing it.
Why you can't remove nests from your eaves
In the UK, it is illegal to remove bird nests from your property’s eaves while they are in use. This is because most bird species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, which makes it an offence to intentionally kill or harm wild birds or disturb their nesting sites. Removing a nest that is currently being occupied by birds can result in a fine or even a prison sentence.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, authorized personnel are allowed to remove nests from your property’s eaves only in specific circumstances. For instance, if there is a risk to public health or safety – such as the potential spread of disease or obstruction of air space.
Additionally, if it can be proven that the nest is causing serious damage to crops, livestock, or foodstuffs intended for livestock or crops, it may also be removed. However, it is important to note that this must be carried out by authorized personnel and with proper legal justification under the Act. The RSPB provides further explanation of these guidelines.
It is important to note that once the breeding season is over and the birds have left the nest, they can be removed without any legal consequences. However, it is still recommended to wait until winter when all birds have migrated away to avoid accidentally harming any late breeders or young fledglings that may still be present. It is always best to consult with a professional pest control service or wildlife expert for advice on how to safely and legally deal with bird nests in your eaves.
The birds you'll find in roof eaves
It is true that the UK is home to around 600 species of birds, but only a small percentage of those are typically found nesting in roof eaves. Some common examples of birds that may nest in eaves include:
House sparrows are one of the most common types of birds found in roof eaves. They typically build their nests using twigs, grass, and other materials they find on the ground.
Starlings are another type of bird that often takes up residence in roof eaves. They build their nests with grass, moss, and feathers, and they generally prefer to build them inside cavities such as chimneys or old barns.
Swifts are a common species of bird that can be found nesting in roof eaves during the breeding season.
Swallows are another species of bird that can sometimes be found nesting in roof eaves. These migratory birds are known for their long, pointed wings and distinctive forked tails, and they often build their nests out of mud and grass.
Blue tits/Great Tits
Blue tits and great tits are two common species of bird that can also be found nesting in roof eaves during the breeding season. These small, colourful birds are known for their energetic behaviour and can often be seen flitting around gardens and woodlands throughout the UK.
These intelligent birds are known for their distinctive grey plumage and chattering calls, and they often build their nests out of twigs and other materials.
How to prevent birds from nesting in 4 simple ways
Below are a few steps you can take to help prevent birds from nesting in your roof eaves:
1. Eradicate all debris
One effective way to prevent birds from nesting in your roof is to clear away any debris, such as leaves, twigs, or other materials that may accumulate on your roof over time. This debris can provide a perfect nesting spot for birds, so removing it can make your roof less attractive to them.
Roof cleaning and gutter clearance are crucial when it comes to preventing birds from nesting in the eaves of your roof. Birds are naturally attracted to areas that provide shelter and protection, and clogged gutters or debris-filled roofs can often make for an ideal nesting spot.
2. Seal up holes in your roof
Another effective way to prevent birds from nesting in your roof is to seal up any holes or gaps that may be present. Birds can enter your roof through even the smallest of openings, so it’s important to identify and repair any potential entry points.
3. Prevent birds from perching
Preventing birds from perching on your guttering and roof can help to reduce the risk of damage and health problems caused by bird droppings. One effective way to prevent birds from perching on your guttering and roof is to install bird spikes or deterrents. These devices can be easily attached to your guttering or roof, and they work by making it uncomfortable or difficult for birds to perch on these surfaces.
Although the idea of installing spikes on the exterior of your home may seem intimidating, they are actually much less noticeable than you might initially believe. The slim metal design and strategic placement of the spikes make them difficult to detect, so there is no need to worry about your home looking like an old medieval castle.
4. Position a decoy
Positioning a decoy can be an effective way to prevent birds from nesting in the eaves of your roof. Decoys are designed to mimic the appearance and behaviour of certain bird species, which can help deter other birds from coming near your home. By strategically placing a decoy near your roof eaves, you can create the illusion that the area is already occupied by another bird, making it less attractive for other birds to nest there.
Birds nesting in solar panels
Solar energy saving is one of the best decisions you can make for your home and environment, but it’s also important to protect your solar panels from birds building nests on them. Birds are constantly searching for sheltered areas to lay their eggs and build nests, and they often find it in the crevices at the top of your solar panel system. If a bird builds its nest in your solar energy system, it can cause serious disruption and damage to the entire network.
Here are some of the reasons why you should always make sure to protect your solar panels from nesting birds:
- Safety: Nests built too close to electrical equipment like wiring or an inverter can cause serious safety issues which may even result in injury or death if not handled properly. When dealing with electricity, extra caution should be taken as lives may depend on it.
- Maintenance costs: Cleaning out a bird’s nest from under a solar panel can be a costly task that requires professional attention. Not only do you have to pay for someone to come out and clear away the nest, but you will likely also have to deal with additional repair costs if any damage has been done.
- Damage: Birds build their nests so they can lay eggs safely; however, this, unfortunately, means that there will be twigs, feathers and other debris underneath your system which could potentially cause damage if left unattended for too long. Additionally, droppings produced by nesting birds may also stain or corrode parts of the system leading to further maintenance costs down the line.
The best way to avoid having birds build nests in your solar energy system is by investing in bird deterrents such as netting or spikes that discourage them from landing on surfaces around your property that contain risk-prone electrical equipment like wiring or transformers near solar panels.
Encourage birds to nest away from your roof
If you’re looking to encourage birds to nest in a different location next year, there are a few things you can do. First, consider installing birdhouses or nesting boxes in areas away from your roof eaves. These provide attractive alternatives for birds and may entice them to nest elsewhere.
Additionally, you can try placing reflective surfaces near your roof eaves to create an unappealing environment for birds. Birds tend to avoid areas with shiny, reflective surfaces as they can be disorienting and threatening.
Finally, if possible, try to remove any existing nests from your eaves before the breeding season begins. This will make it less likely that birds will return to the same spot year after year. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that birds find safe and suitable nesting spaces while also protecting your home from potential damage caused by nesting activity.