Quantcast Habitat Modification

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gnats, carpet beetles and other insects that may become
detailed and accurate bird survey. Surveys should be
major problems in the immediate area. These pests
conducted early in the morning, midday, and again in
may fly or crawl through windows, ventilators, cracks
the evening to correspond to the different activity
and crevices, etc., and enter buildings.
periods of birds. The survey should not be limited to,
information about pest birds; nontarget bird activity is
Defacement and Damage to Structures and
just as important in order to minimize risk to these
birds. The survey should investigate:
What birds are present?
Bird droppings under window sills,
How many?
"whitewashing" down a building face, or accumulating
Are they adults, residents, migrants,
on sidewalks and steps, are the most obvious problem
associated with large roosts.
Clean-up can be
Are they nesting, feeding, roosting,
labor-intensive and expensive, particularly on high-rise
buildings. Bird droppings are corrosive and will
Where do they eat and drink?
damage automobile finishes, many types of metal trim,
What is attracting them to the various
electrical equipment, and machinery. Downspouts and
vents on buildings also become blocked by droppings,
Are the birds causing a health risk?
nest materials, and feathers. This accumulation of
Are the birds causing physical damage?
debris can attract insect pests such as gnats, carpet
If dispersed, where would they go?
beetles and other dermestids, spider beetles, and
If poisoned, where would they die?
Is there risk to nontarget species?
What are the legal considerations?
Legal Considerations
Could there be public relations
With very few exceptions, all birds are protected
by one or more federal laws and regulations.
Is exclusion or habitat modification
Pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows
are not directly protected at the federal
level but applications of toxicants or
Habitat Modification
repellents must be according to the
product label and under the restrictions
Habitat modification for birds means limiting a
that apply under FIFRA.
bird's food, water, or shelter. Attempting to limit the
Other birds are regulated in some way
food or water of pigeons, starlings, and house
at the federal level.
sparrows is not practical. These birds will have a
Nontarget birds in the treatment area
number of feeding and watering sites -- often far from
are protected, and any actions that kill
roosting and loafing sites. Where people are feeding
or damage protected birds or their
birds in parks or lunch areas, education might help
habitats will be a violation of various
reduce this source of food; however, many people will
federal and state regulations.
pay little attention to requests to stop.
State and local regulations may require
The most successful kind of habitat modification
permits or restrict the actions taken
is to exclude the birds from their roosting and loafing
against pest birds.
sites (addressed in the section on exclusion).
When in doubt, contact your state
Pigeons may be induced to move from an infested site
natural resources agency or the United
by the persistent destruction of nests and eggs. Nest
States Fish and Wildlife Service District
destruction is ineffective against sparrows and starlings
office  in your area for further
but pruning trees sometimes deters roosting. Some
helpful measures include:
Spray high pressure streams of water
from fire fighting equipment or other
high pressure water lines. This is the
most cost effective method of nest
destruction. [It destroys the nest,
eliminates  ectoparasites,  cleans
droppings and feathers from the nest
The first step in controlling birds is to conduct a
site, and harasses the roosting birds.]
Module Three Chapter 4, Pg 5


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