Nuisance Bird Species

Photo of european staring sitting on perch

Birds are frequent pests that are notorious for being the source of cost property damage. Whether it’s birds leaving droppings in your yard or creating nests in the attic, it’s always a good idea to take action against these pests before further damage is be created. Understanding the habits of these animals will assist the removal & exclusion process. The birds listed below are common pests for homeowners.¬†

European Starlings

European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), also referred to as common starlings, are an Asian bird species that have become extremely common in the United States. These gregarious birds can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, among other places. Their iridescent black-green-purple plumage is speckled with light speckles, giving it the appearance of a starry night sky. Adult males have lemon-yellow beaks and long throat feathers, which give them a rough appearance.

Old World starlings were purposefully introduced to Central Park in New York City in 1890 by a well-intentioned but misguided man named Eugene Schiefflin. They are now considered one of the worst nuisance birds in the country. The initial 60 pairs that were released quickly grew in population. Soon after, the American starling populations exploded, and the species quickly spread across the entire United States and much of Canada. Many native birds and their young have been known to compete with, been displaced by, and killed by starlings.

Learn More: European Starlings A Nuisance Species 

House Sparrows

Picture of house sparrow drinking from puddle

The House Sparrow was released in Brooklyn, New York, in 1851. By 1910, it had spread across the United States. House Sparrow is a small, stocky songbird equipped with a gray chest, thick bill, and streaky colored back. Male is red on its back, white cheeks, a white wing bar, and a black bib found on the bird’s throat.

House sparrows have been linked to the spread of more than 25 human and domestic animal diseases. Their feces deface and foul structures such as park benches, outdoor lunch tables, statues, and stair railings. Roof drains, gutters, and downspouts are frequently clogged by house sparrow nests. Their flammable nests, made of grass, straw, feathers, hair, weeds, and other dried plant materials, strings, and other miscellaneous flammability trash, can cause serious fires, especially around power lines and substations.

Learn More: A Common Bird Pest Is The House Sparrow

Muscovy Ducks

Image of Muscovy duck on the street

Muscovy Ducks have large, heavy bodies and long necks, giving them the appearance of small geese. Adult males’ wings have large white patches, whereas juveniles’ white wing patches are much smaller. Muscovy ducks live in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, swamps, and other water bodies. Many feral populations can be found throughout the United States, particularly in Texas and Florida.

Muscovy often contributes to pets and people getting sick by contaminating water sources. The ducks’ droppings contain bacteria that will cause mammals to fall ill if consumed. The Muscovy has been established as an abrasive and disruptive species. The species is a known culprit of property damage to homes in the southern U.S. and many parts of Florida. The droppings also contain acid that can burn through car paint and discolor concrete. The birds are difficult to catch as they can be aggressive and swim to a waterway to avoid predators.

Learn More: Muscovy Ducks Are A Destructive Species

Pigeons

Picture of pigeon resting on security camera

Pigeons are small, tubby birds with short legs and small heads. Most birds are bluish-gray with two black bands on the wings and a black tail tip. Wild pigeons will eat anything that comes their way, including insects and leftover food. Urban pigeons eat whatever they can get their hands on, including food that we throw away or drop. Pigeons have successfully adapted to our urban environments, allowing them to nest, feed, and thrive in even the busiest cities.

Human slips and falls have been linked to pigeon droppings. Pigeons can carry diseases like cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, salmonella, food poisoning, and other illnesses. Droppings can also cause property damage, discolored buildings and car paint, destroyed wood, clogging gutters, staining fabric, and shorting out electrical equipment. The longer pigeons have been on a structure, the more difficult it is to remove them completely. The most effective pigeon proofing measures may only move the birds from where they are currently nesting to another location on the structure.  A trapping program, combined with exclusion work, is the most efficient way to remove pigeons from a property.

Learn More: Pigeon Damage And Removal Options

Canadian Geese

Photograph of canadian goose swimming in pond

The Canada goose is one of the United States’ largest native waterfowl. Its black head, bill, and neck contrast sharply with a pale gray breast, making it easy to spot. A distinctive field mark is the white cheek patch, or chinstrap, that covers the throat. ¬†Back and wings are gray-brown to dark brown, and the belly is white, with a black rump and tail feathers separated by a narrow band of white. Canadian geese migrate in large flocks, typically in V-formations, to conserve energy while flying long distances.

Large flocks of geese compact the soil, making it less conducive to future growth. Because of their presence on the runway, geese can cause flight takeoff and landing delays.  A homeowner may not legally kill a Canadian goose by shooting it, poisoning it, lethally trapping it, or bludgeoning it to death because migratory bird laws protect this species. Even if you could get close enough to harass one, these birds are extremely aggressive and protective, and they would almost certainly retaliate. These birds are very protective and will almost certainly retaliate in some cases.

Learn More: Candian Geese Are A Protected Nuisance Species

Woodpecker

Image of woodpecker pecking holes in tree

The woodpecker is one of the continent’s largest and most striking forest birds. It’s about the size of a crow, with a flaming-red crest and bold white stripes down the neck. Adult woodpeckers range in size from six to eighteen inches long, depending on the species. The bills of woodpeckers are stout and sharply pointed, almost chisel-like. They leave distinctive rectangular holes in the wood, which many species use to make nest holes.

The woodpecker is one of the continent’s largest and most striking forest birds. It’s about the size of a crow, with a flaming-red crest and bold white stripes down the neck. Adult woodpeckers range in size from six to eighteen inches long, depending on the species. The bills of woodpeckers are stout and sharply pointed, almost chisel-like. They leave distinctive rectangular holes in the wood, which many species use to make nest holes.

Woodpeckers don’t threaten human health or safety, but they can cause significant property damage. They may dig up siding or wood from the outside of a house to use as a nesting site or forage for food. Inspect your home’s siding for lines of holes. These birds tend to peck in straight lines, which can help identify if you are dealing with a woodpecker.

The most likely targets are trees with sweet-tasting sap and dead limbs and sap leaks, which can attract other pests like termites and other insects. The same signs of damage to trees can be seen on homes, and the birds can also damage plumbing and electrical lines hidden behind the siding.

Learn More: Woodpecker Damage To Homes

Have A Nuisance Bird Problem?

Birds are a pest that can quickly take over your property and cause mass amounts of damage due to their large flock sizes. If left undisturbed, they will return because they believe your property is a safe place to hang out. Fear not because Animals Happen has the tools and experience to eradicate any nuisance birds near your home. Call us at 833-633-1120, and let’s get started on a bird removal and exclusion plan!