How to Remove a Bird Nest
When it is safe and appropriate to remove a bird nest, care must be taken so the nest is properly removed.
- Double-check the nest for any remaining eggs or chicks, and wait to make sure the healthy birds contain all been out of the nest for several days before beginning any removal. Although young birds do not typically return to their nests seeking handouts from parents, it seem important to absolutely sure that it abandoned.
- Wear gloves when handling the nest to protect against contamination from mites, bacteria, or other parasites that may have infected the nest.3 Tiny bugs may be nearly impossible to see in the nesting debris, or the nest may be contaminated with different types of germs or mold that could affect humans.
- If possible, add the discarded nest to a compost pile or dispose of it in a plastic bag . So predators not attracted to the nesting area where young birds may still be at risk. Nesting material will naturally decompose, or may even reused by other nesting birds.
- Clean the area where the nest was located, using a solution of one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water. Note: It is not necessary to clean a tree or bush where a nest was located . But do clean any artificial surfaces nearby, such as a gutter, roof, hanging bracket, or nesting shelf. Allow the cleaning solution to dry completely, and no rinsing is necessary.
Why Remove Nests?
In certain circumstances it may be necessary and desirable to remove bird nests, both for safety and convenience. Proper reasons to remove nests include:
- The nest has been abandoned after the breeding season has ended.
- The nest currently unused and has become dilapidated and unsafe for future use.
- The nest is in a birdhouse that needs to be cleaned out for future residents or winter use.
- The nest seemed in a dangerous location and brooding birds could become stressed or injured.
In most cases, it only after the nesting season ended and the birds and moved on that nests can and should removed. If the birds built their nests in poor locations. However, the nest may need to remove earlier to safeguard both the adults and the chicks they hope to raise. Unsafe locations typically include:
- Near a door or busy walkway
- Inside a gutter or drainage pipe
- Inside connected dryer vents
- On equipment, such as a grill or lawn mower
- Inside an active chimney
- Balanced on a car bumper or tire
- In any highly active area, such as on playground equipment, in a construction zone, or inside a warehouse
If birds have built their nests in these types of locations, it best to remove the nest and discourage the birds from rebuilding in the same spot. If the dangerous nest already has chicks or eggs, however, contact a bird rescue organization to see if they can take in the baby birds until they are mature enough to leave the nest. It may also be possible to move the nest to a safer location nearby. The parent birds will return to the nearby nest to continue raising their young, and after the fledglings have left, steps can be taken to keep the adults from reusing the unsafe location.