Everyone loves birds right? We feed them, put out elaborate baths and the family just gets so thrilled when a ‘momma bird’ starts building a nest on a shelf in the garage. Look I’m a sucker for this kinda thing too and I even raised two squirrels that fell out of a tree so don’t get me wrong BUT. I really don’t want or need the mess, noise, bird mites or aggravation of having one more thing to tend to that by all rights should be outside where it belongs. So what can you do to stop a bird from making your garage or other area of your home a bird sanctuary?
It’s difficult (at least for me) to constantly keep opening and shutting my garage door to keep birds out but this is probably the best thing. However, I’ve found that once you discover a nest has started and you make that conscious effort to keep it closed the bird will go into full patience mode. I don’t know why but birds can be pretty persistent once a site is selected and may go all day waiting for you to leave that door open even just for a minute. Then when you come back out you find twigs, leaves or other nesting material back in the same place you just cleared off. I try very hard to discourage the bird by removing the material but she keeps bringing back more. If by chance I don’t notice the nest and she has eggs well then that’s a whole other ball game because all of the sudden my wife whips out her green peace badge and my goofy kids start naming the unborn chicks and any attempt I might make to remove the nest will be met with a rake and crescent wrench from the drawer. Needless to say it’s best to catch it early and after about a week or so the bird does give up if you keep at it.
What didn’t work;
Normal bird control would hardly be practical as you would do in a city on a tall skyscraper. Avitrol feeding stations or lining the shelves with Nixalite for one bird once in awhile is just a bit much. Plus I don’t want to kill the thing, just get it out of my garage. Phony rubber snakes might startle the bird the first time but won’t be long term. Visual devices like big balloons with large eyes printed on them work alright for pigeons but the smaller Wrens or Sparrows that usually nest in this fashion are rarely deterred. .
I’ve had customers hang long strips of tin foil over the garage opening or many strands of fishing string to deter birds and while I guess it worked it did look pretty bad. Pie pans dangling from the roof and even make shift scarecrows might give you temporary relief but boy will you be the talk of the neighborhood. Some people have used moth balls pretty effectively but you have to use so much to irritate the bird and if it bothers them it will definitely be unbearable to you.
You can always try and catch the bird by using a small wire cage trap. Hav a hart makes such traps for rodents but a bird would easily trigger it as well. That gets difficult if the space is small or in an upside down helmet or other odd place. Keeping your garage neat seems to work well but is no guarantee. I find more nests in cluttered areas than I ever do in organized but I don’t know if there is any rationale behind it.As stated, you’re more than likely going to have to be more persistent than the bird to finally chase her away. As time grows nearer to laying the eggs she’ll most likely abandon the fight and build in a more quiet and suitable area. If you don’t find the nest in time and eggs are present do what I do and just grin and bear it. You’ll more than likely kill the babies by trying to move it because the mother often leaves the chicks for good when disturbed in this way. If that happens you might have another momma mad at you and this ones carrying a wrench and a badge.
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