Removing unwanted birds from properties requires navigating complex local, state and federal regulations that protect certain avian species.

Removing unwanted birds from commercial and residential properties often requires navigating complex local, state and federal regulations that protect certain avian species. Before scheduling any bird removal or control work, property owners must understand the legal considerations that govern how and when professionals can humanely move or exclude birds. Failure to comply with relevant laws can result in hefty fines, enforcement action and even imprisonment in extreme cases.

Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) represents the primary federal law regulating management of native birds in the U.S. Originally passed in 1918, the MBTA implements international treaties that protect hundreds of migratory bird species. The law makes it illegal to remove nests, eggs or birds covered under the MBTA without proper permits.

This means bird removal companies generally cannot relocate or exclude nesting migratory birds or destroy their nests unless authorized by a federal permit. Issuance of permits depends on the species involved, cause for removal and proposed exclusion methods. Permits require demonstrating removal as the only viable option and implementing humane exclusion practices that minimize bird injuries. Professional removal companies must obtain necessary MBTA permits prior to working on any projects involving protected migratory birds.

State Laws Concerning Bird Removal

In addition, many states have passed their own supplementary laws regulating bird removal work. Some states have more extensive permitting systems for bird control that exceed federal requirements. State laws may also prohibit removal or harassment of native bird species deemed threatened or endangered at the state level.

For example, California law mandates all bird species receive protection unless a specific permit is obtained prior to removal. Florida maintains especially strict regulations due to high populations of protected birds like wood storks, brown pelicans and various species of wading birds. Florida law outlines allowable exclusion methods and specifies how permits are issued for bird control.

Local Ordinances on Bird Management

Finally, many cities and counties enact local ordinances related to managing feral pigeons, starlings, house sparrows and other invasive bird species that frequently cause problems. These local rules outline which exclusion and removal methods property owners can deploy without a permit. However, local permissions do not override state or federal regulations for protected native bird species.

In summary, property owners should speak with bird control professionals regarding applicable laws before scheduling any removal or exclusion work. Many removal options that seem reasonable may violate complex regulations. Companies performing bird control must understand all legal requirements at the federal, state and local levels that guide methods, timing and species involved in each project. Failure to comply with relevant laws can lead to expensive consequences and even endanger the targeted birds. So proper research, planning and permitting represent the first steps toward any legitimate bird removal initiative.

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