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Is it illegal to remove birds’ nests from roofs?

Posted on September 23, 2022
By Aussie Gutter Protection
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    Several bird species build their nests around human habitation and infrastructures, such as in roof eaves and spaces, gutters, valleys, verandas, window ledges, sheds and solar panels. It is often a nightmare for homeowners as bird droppingsnesting material, and noise affect the space’s habitability and increase exposure to disease and pests such as bird mites and salmonella.

    Most people don’t know they have a bird problem until they are already nesting in your roof spaces. Removing the bird nests may not be possible, especially with eggs and young birds.

    So, is it illegal to remove a bird nest from your roof space? Yes. It is illegal to mistreat or neglect any animal in Australia, including removing or destroying any “active nest” of any wild bird, including starlings, house sparrows, pigeons and seagulls.

    Learn how to prevent birds from nesting in your roof spaces so that you don’t have to worry about bird control or removal services.

    Victorian bird removal requirements

    Bird Proofing Gutter Guard Banner

    According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, cruelty is described as when a person wounds, mutilates, tortures, overrides, overworks, abuses, beats, worries, torments or terrifies an animal, including adult birds, baby birds or eggs (below the average mid-point of gestation or incubation).

    If people remove or destroy bird nests considered “active” (meaning in use or under construction), or to take and destroy the eggs from any wild bird’s nest denotes abuse or torment of that bird. The law extends to protected species and pest birds, including starlings, sparrows, pigeons and seagulls.

    RSPCA do not recommend nest relocation as it is challenging to do so without terrifying or distressing the parent birds’ nesting. In some cases, you may be able to remove the bird’s nest in the initial construction stages and abstract nesting area. This may discourage birds from nesting and may cause them to move on.

    Failing to prevent nesting birds, you will need to wait until the babies have fledged, even with the help of pest control. Babies then tend to fly away to find their own mates and can return as parents in the next nesting season without preventative measures.

    Speak to us about getting bird proofing for your home.

    Victorian bird removal requirements

    AGP bird nest in roof eaves

    If you see signs of nesting birds, try to identify the species, a great resource is the Birds in Backyards database, which include natives and pest birds. Otherwise, the most common wild birds nesting in roof spaces around Melbourne and Victoria have:

    • Feral pigeons
    • Seagulls or Silver Gulls
    • House Sparrow
    • English Starlings
    • House martins
    • Indian or Common Myna

    Most Australian native birds do not make their natural nest sites around human habitation or infrastructure. However, other pest species deter birds (especially natives) from nesting in your garden.

    Bird removal costs

    nest under eaves

    The Victorian state average for bird control services is roughly $500, between $100 to $2,000. However, this may be an annual cost for every nesting season without prevention measures. These bird control measures include chemical deterrents, physical removal, relocation, netting and electrical pest control measures.

    Some other costs you may incur are:

    • Constant cleaning each breeding season;
    • Solar panel cleaning
    • Gutter cleaning from blocked gutters and downpipes due to nesting materials;
    • Repainting roof, roof eaves, walls and furniture due to highly corrosive bird droppings;
    • Fumigation and pest infestation costs due to bird mites and other diseases in the roof cavity;
    • Fire damage costs as bird nesting material create fire hazards, especially where electrical wiring surrounds the baby bird’s nesting site;
    • Solar panel damage costs are not covered under warranty if bird-related damage occurs.

    bird-proofing solution costs roughly $30 – $40 per metre. The most effective types include integrated gutter mesh systems and solar panel bird proofing, which deny birds access to nesting areas and prevent the need for future pest control services.

    Learn more about bird proofing, products & benefits

    How to stop birds nesting in your roof

    The only way to prevent pests birds nesting in your roof is to create a 100% bird-proofing solution using a gutter guard and other bird prevention methods.

    Integrated mesh gutter guard system

    Finished Gutter Guard Installation

    An integrated gutter mesh prevents birds from accessing gutters, roof cavities, valleys, and other spaces birds use for nesting. A bird mesh system covers these areas deterring birds. It encourages healthy water flow through gutters creating a permeable protective barrier specially-manufactured to prevent birds from nesting and perching.

    Solar Mesh

    SolarMesh is a PVC-coated stainless steel or galvanised mesh with a 12mm aperture that attaches to the panels with a clip. Solar panel protection prevents birds and other pests from entering and nesting under the panels. The 12mm hole size ensures the panels work at optimal capacity without overheating. The Solar mesh’s design prevents damage to the panel and voiding of any warranties.

    Speak to us about getting solar panel bird proofing for your home.

    Bird spikes

    Bird spikes attach to ledges, beams, under a verandah, eaves on the roofs, or fencing around your home to prevent birds from perching. Bird control spikes are humane and do not cause the birds harm. It does not provide a complete solution. However, it does not offer a complete solution unless used with gutter guard products.

    Bird Spikes

    Bird netting

    Like spikes, in conjunction with other measures, bird netting for commercial properties and large domestic homes prevent bird infestation. It can provide a 100% bird solution if installed as part of an integrated gutter mesh system. However, it will not deter smaller bird species and can trap birds if installed incorrectly.

    Artificial nest box

    Another RSPCA recommendation includes making an artificial nest box for birds such as starlings or sparrows. These nest boxes are available at DIY stores such as Bunnings and Mitre10. You can also find more information for advice on building an artificial nest box here.

    While this solution may work for a short period, it is not a complete solution and may not solve your problems caused by pest birds.

    Seagulls nesting in a gutter

    At AGP, we recommend combining integrated mesh gutter guard systems and solar mesh for residential buildings. For commercial buildings, we recommend an integrated gutter mesh system, solar mesh and bird spikes or bird netting for a complete solution.

    Our 25 years of experience in Melbourne has shown that bird-proofing your whole house is the only complete solution. It is proven to be the most effective measure in deterring birds from your gutters and roof. At AGP, we try to ensure the best fit for your property as all bird proofing and property needs differ. We recommend a thorough inspection of your property before quoting and guaranteeing.

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