With 18,000 known species of birds worldwide, it should come as no surprise that you will have to employ a range of strategies to solve any given wild bird problem. However, here are some practice-proven approaches to help you resolve the more common issues you may encounter:
- Woodpeckers: While these birds consume millions of insects every year, their “drumming” can physically damage a structure. Remove temptation by deadening the resonant area with caulk. Visual and noise tactics can be helpful. If all else fails, create a physical barrier by covering the drumming site with sheet metal or bird netting.
- Fruit-eaters: If your customer has trees and shrubs full of fruit, but the birds are harvesting it first, barriers are effective deterrents. Netting can keep starlings, orioles, robins, blackbirds and jays from planted fruits, especially apples and raspberries. Scare tactics also can be effective.
- Nesters: Birds sometimes pick odd places to nest, but remember that federal and state laws protect most wild birds — and their nests and eggs. To prevent them from building nests in the first place, provide an artificial nest or bird box as an alternative. Otherwise, it’s best to contact your federal or state agent for advice on the particular situation.
- “Roosters”: When pigeons, sparrows, grackles or crows start roosting in the trees around a structure, they can actually pose a health hazard. Pruning the trees may be enough to make the roosting site less appealing. However, if the birds in question are roosting on the building itself, physical barriers are usually the best option. Scare tactics also will work, at least for a while.