It’s now mid April and we are starting to get calls from people about birds, mainly jackdaws, starting to nest in chimney pots and can we come and remove them.
In short we cant, nor can anyone else. Once certain birds start nesting then a nest, eggs or birds cannot be killed, damaged or destroyed. These birds include jackdaws and pigeons but also geese and parakeets although we are yet to see a goose nesting in a chimney thankfully.
We do have a licence issued by Natural England that permits us to do this but only if certain strict health or safety issues are laid out. Unfortunately there are always some people who will destroy a nest/eggs/young as it is ‘inconvenient’ to have a nest with noisy birds, it is an offence under the Wildlife and countryside act to do so and we comply with the conditions completely. Don’t ask us to remove a nest once they have started to build it until the young have fledged.
Here is an article that helps identify the signs that a bird is nesting, if they aren’t already obvious to you from Sweepsmart in London.
After the young have gone we are happy to help with removing a nest, CCTV survey to ensure all material has been removed (vital as nest removing cannot be guaranteed without it) and installing a suitable bird guard to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the problem. Birds use a variety of stuff to build a nest, twigs, straw, cow manure and cigarette ends are commonplace. Bird poo, insects and dust can cause health issues for some plus a nest will soak up rainwater like a sponge leading to damp problems so nests should always be removed when possible.
Be aware that Jackdaws in particular are very clever and if their favorite chimney has a cowl installed they will nest in the next nearest available one so you or your neighbours may wish to consider ensuring all chimney pots are protected appropriately.