LINDENWOOD, NY—The NY Daily News reports that locals found herons migrating into the neighborhood a few weeks ago, “believed to be yellow-crowned night herons.” The birds left feces all over buildings, nested in fire escapes, and destroyed air conditioners with their messes. The story concludes that while not all residents dislike the birds themselves, they all dislike the problems they’re causing.
Bird-X issued a press release in response, noting that it has dealt with herons and other waterbirds in the past. It’s very challenging to get rid of herons, egrets, bitterns, and cormorants, but it can be done! In this situation, it’s important to point out that these nesting birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 — neither the birds nor their eggs may be legally disrupted at this point. Just as barn swallows are protected, these birds must be allowed to stay put until the juveniles mature; the birds themselves may not be moved under legal protection.
However, there are many preventative measures residents can take to stop the birds from landing or building future nests in unwanted areas, without harming the birds, and can work to keep them from coming back in the next migratory season. These include a large-size bird spike product and an electrified bird track to protect ledges, windowsills, bridges and other areas; and bird netting to physically block birds from entering large, enclosed areas such as open patios. Once the nests hatch, Bird-X suggests using a sonic device that scares waterbirds away. By keeping the device randomized to prevent the birds from acclimation, the company says, this method can last for many years.