In many respects birds in nature tend to be very beneficial and very desired, however as with nearly all categories of animals you can find bad apples in the bird world also. Some of the worst type of offenders in the bird world are those which have found their way into North America from different parts of the world, because of human activities that transported them outside of their “natural” habitats. Every time a bird, or every other living organism, has lived inside a geographic area for perhaps countless ages, that environment adapts to allow that organism to blend in. It doesn’t overpower the other organisms near it with its existence, and we generally refer to this kind of situation as a “balance” in nature. Things can happen that will upset that balance, ideally temporarily, but generally life rolls along smoothly.
As human beings expanded their travel from continent to continent in centuries past they evolved into the means for living things – plants as well as animals – to easily transfer to brand-new areas. Frequently the idea was a strategic effort by emigrants which were moving permanently to new houses in a new land, and they took along a lot of the elements they believed they’d need for survival there. This frequently was seeds, grain, and even vegetation for their gardens, their own food, for their livestock, or maybe other uses, and the vegetation throughout North America changed drastically. Birds were likewise transferred from Europe to North America by people who did not realize the possible effect which exotic invader would have within a part of the planet where it didn’t belong. A few of the birds that cause people the greatest troubles right now are among these immigrants, and these are the Pigeon, the Starling, and the English Sparrow.
It may come as a shock to many folks to hear these three species of birds are foreign invaders, because they have been in the United States for such a long time and are so widespread. This, on the other hand, is one testament to their invasive habits. Starlings were released in 1890, as a single species in several birds from Europe who were purposely released within New York’s Central Park. The pigeon was previously domesticated and raised for food, sport, or various other human uses 1000’s of years in the past, and brought in North America in the 1600’s for all those uses. The English Sparrow, also known as the House Sparrow, is actually another native of Europe and Asia that was brought to the U.S. and purposely released. It appears to prefer dwelling near human activity, and typically can make its nests in or on our buildings. By their eating and nesting behaviors these kinds of birds may compete with various other, indigenous birds, and by doing this can easily pose a risk to the natural order of animals in North America.
Nonetheless, birds can be a danger to people as well as our property, and we can sum up the reason for that in a single word – feces. The droppings associated with birds are a perfect growth medium for numerous bacteria, viruses, and also fungus that may be pathogenic to people. When we have accumulations of pigeon droppings inside attics, upon decks, or rooftops or even ledges, we can also have this type of disease organisms there as well, and if the fecal material dries and also becomes airborne we stand a larger possibility of breathing in a problem. Some of the serious conditions linked to bird droppings include histoplasmosis, candidiasis, cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, among others. Bird fecal furthermore frequently harbors Salmonella, and whenever the droppings wind up in water that’s consumed by people this serious food contamination could result. A bunch more pathogens of bacteria, protozoa, infections, and fungus are also linked to them. Birds also are home to a lot of arthropod parasites, such as bird mites and bird bedbugs, and whenever these kinds of birds reside in close association with people they frequently expose those biting mites and pests into the building. Most of these issues are not unique to those 3 varieties of birds, but as a consequence of their numbers and their close association with people and also our residences these kinds of birds often present the greatest health danger to us.
The aim of this information is not to cause us to fear or even dislike birds, but to know that there might be side effects to letting them to live in and on our own houses. Effectively managed birds, like racing and also homing pigeons kept by hobbyists, could be properly maintained without having parasites, and in their own hutches where they can’t bother people. It’s the “feral” pigeons that now reside in semi-wild flocks that pose the issues.
Beyond the possible health risks they pose, everyone has noticed the mess they can create on the ground or perhaps other surfaces underneath their nests. It is not unreasonable to suggest that it is appropriate to encourage birds to create their nests somewhere other than underneath the eaves of our home, in the attic, or on ledges we provide close to patio covers and other horizontal surfaces.
One important thought here, though, is with respect to swallows, which create their nests from mud and absolutely love to place those nests underneath the eaves of houses. It is common to find private homes with solid lines of these mud nests along quite a few sides of the home, with many swallows now taking up residence where people also live. Swallows are protected birds, so you can’t harm them and you can’t bother their nest once it is established and completed, since by that time there may be eggs or even young birds in this nest. Once the nest is finished you have to, by law, allow them to finish their cycle of raising their young, and only once the young birds have left is it possible to take out the mud nests. Seeing that you may not want these nests on your own home you’ve got a couple of options. The 1st is to dissuade the nest building at the moment the adult birds start it, by scraping or even cleaning the beginnings of the nest off right away, in the hope that the birds ultimately go someplace else.
Your second alternative would be to prevent access to the nest sites by the birds, and for this you may want to use an authorized pest management organization which has experience in bird management. There are lots of physical materials that may be installed on residences that can keep the bird from accessing the areas they desire to roost or nest. For swallows this could be plastic netting, installed in such a fashion that it does not detract from the visual appeal of the residence, endures for several years, and also causes no injury or distress to the birds. The same kind of netting could be great for closing off areas that pigeons are going to. You may often find big retailers which have had this netting installed overhead, eliminating the ability of birds such as sparrows to roost on overhead pipes.
Other physical devices which can be extremely effective at bird exclusion include plastic or wire pronged strips, mounted on horizontal ledges so that birds can no longer land on the ledge. The specialist may also utilize stainless steel wire, strung securely along ledges and lifted several inches off the surface area, once more to prevent the bird from using that ledge. There are a variety of other innovative systems which work well but pose no hazard to birds which could contact them. The goal should not be to eliminate the birds, for that would be a temporary remedy anyhow. If your house is appealing to the first group of birds it’ll remain desirable as long as other birds can find their way onto it. Physical exclusion of the birds is your most effective long-term remedy, including ensuring that attic vents are in good condition to prevent birds from getting into this enclosed place. This type of good building maintenance may also stop the entry of other undesired wildlife, such as bats, squirrels, or rodents.