March 3rd
Nesting Birds

Spring is filled with the sounds of nature as wildlife come out of their winter slumber, filling the air with chirping and chattering. One of the most interesting transformations spring brings upon us in Canada is the increase in bird sightings as the migratory populations return to their summer homes for the season. Swallows, sparrows, starlings, and woodpeckers are some of the species you might see returning to the great white north in the coming weeks.

A very common topic during spring is the appearance of baby birds, and what to do if you find one outside of its nest. First, it’s important to understand the difference between a nestling and a fledgling. Nestlings are newborn birds that cannot care for themselves, and will appear sparsely feathered and incapable of walking or hopping around. Fledglings are slightly older birds that are learning to survive without the care of their mothers, and will appear fully feathered with the ability to hop, walk, and grip surfaces on their own. Most of the time, when young birds are found outside their nests, they are fledglings that are perfectly capable of returning on their own.

Mother birds, as with most wildlife, are very protective of their young. It is extremely uncommon that parents would abandon their young willingly, so if you see a nest with babies inside do not attempt to move the nest or any babies within it. If you find a nestling that has fallen out of its nest, and the nest is within reach, you can safely return it to it’s home. It is a common myth that touching a baby bird will cause it’s parents to abandon it, but rest assured the bird will not be left by its parents. If the nest is out of reach or the parents have not returned after 24 hours, please contact your local wildlife rehabilitator for directions.

In your life, you will likely encounter a bird nest or two whether it be on a hike, or in your own backyard. Nests are commonly constructed using a combination of mud, sticks, twigs, leaves and feathers, and will be found higher than ground level. Birds begin building their nests as soon as they arrive at their summer destination. For this reason, they will often prefer areas that are warm and secluded, being that the weather is still quite cool during Canadian springtime. 

Bird nests themselves are not a nuisance - they are an integral part of maintaining a balanced ecosystem. However, there are significant risks associated with nests being built on your property. If a bird decides to hunker down in one of your roof or wall vents, they may block the flow of air exhausting from your home. Nesting material is very dry, and combined with heat can cause a significant fire hazard. Birds also have the ability to carry a number of diseases, which can be tracked into your home through the air ducts they may be living within. Gutters are another common area for birds to nest, which can then block the flow of water draining from your roof and potentially cause flooding in your attic space.

Removing bird nests on your own is often unsafe, and occasionally illegal as well. Some birds in Ontario are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act as endangered species’, and a permit is required to safely remove and reposition their nests. Skedaddle’s humane approach to bird removal and exclusion helps protect your home without putting any animals at risk. After identifying the species and risks, we carefully remove and dispose of the nesting material, while ensuring that young birds are kept safe for their parents to find. We then decontaminate the area, and carefully screen off your home to prevent future wildlife intrusions. This method has proven to be the most humane and safe for both homeowners and wildlife, which is our number one priority. 

Spring is an exciting season for wildlife sightings, but it’s important to remember to respect all animals and keep your distance for both their safety and yours.

By: Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control