As a bird removal technician who works with Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Removal, I come across unusual situations with each job. One recent Ottawa bird removal job was especially odd, as it involved several different species of birds nesting inside the vents of one home. The following story may help you understand the importance of calling in a wildlife removal professional and how the steps I and other technicians took fully rectified the problem.
A New Home With Several Unwanted Guests
This job began when the owners of a new home saw birds coming in and out of the bathroom vent on the side of their home. They immediately called Skedaddle for bird removal services. After a fellow technician had arrived, they were able to reach the high vent and look inside, taking a photo for the customer.
Deep inside the vent, two baby pigeons sat nesting. The technician expressed surprise at finding pigeons and told me, “It is very rare for pigeons to nest inside vents.” However, cold spring temperatures may have urged the birds to nest there, as the warm air within the home’s vent probably provided them with several advantages, including:
- Protection from predators
- Shelter from the elements
- Warmth to support their eggs and hatchlings
During the assessment of the home, I realized that wind and other poor conditions had caused the home’s vent flaps to deteriorate, which allowed the pigeons to gain access. I also discovered a similar situation on the other side of the home, where deteriorated vent flaps had allowed for a completely different species of birds to nest inside.
Although it may seem unlikely, it is common for several species of wildlife to live in one home. Home maintenance of areas such as vents is the best way to prevent multiple animals from living in a home. After explaining all of these details to the homeowner, I was able to move forward with removing the pigeons and the starlings one at a time.
Removing Baby Pigeons From the Vent
Since the pigeons had several unhatched eggs and three young chicks inside the vent, I had to create a customized removal plan that would keep them warm and safe. The three babies were quite large and had grown to have feathers. However, they were still unable to fly the nest and required a warm shelter until they were fully grown. In order to shelter the babies and the unhatched eggs from the cold weather, I built a temporary bird’s nest that would be placed directly outside of the vent in the home.
This would allow for the warm air to keep the babies and the eggs warm, while also preventing any bacteria and further damage inside the vents. Before the new nest could be installed, however, I had to ensure that the vent they had been living inside was fully cleaned, repaired and protected. I placed the babies and their new nest inside my van with the heat on, allowing them to stay warm while they waited.
More Uninvited Avian Guests
Once I had removed the baby pigeons safely, it was time to address the starlings that had begun nesting on the other side of the home. This species is more commonly found nesting in vents, as their small size makes it simple for them to take over the space inside. The starling had not yet built an established nest, which made the removal much easier, however, the vent still required decontamination and thorough cleaning to ensure that all bacteria had been removed.
Repairing and Cleaning Vents
Birds in vent spaces tend to make the interior and surrounding exterior space around them messy with droppings, which can pass illnesses to people and pets. Mites, fleas and a host of bacteria are only a few health concerns connected to wild birds, and the dry nesting material and feathers birds use to make their nests can cause a serious house fire when the vents become clogged with this material.
Once I ensured no more birds remained in either vent, I cleaned out all the nesting material from the vent since the vent’s pipes lead to the attic and then to the exterior of the home, I removed them to ensure that all nesting materials were completely removed in order for proper airflow throughout the home. This thorough clearing process also ensures that no bacteria or microparasites are left behind inside the home.. I repeated the process where I found the nesting starlings.
The next step was ensuring that no birds were able to gain access inside the vents again. After I replaced the damaged vent, I secured galvanized steel screens over them and every other vent on the exterior of the home where birds would have the ability to regain access. The steel screens are designed with holes small enough for air to flow from the home and prevent birds from sliding through.
What Happened to the Babies?
After all the vents had been protected, it was time to place the babies’ nest back on the exterior of the home where their mother could access them. I secured the temporary baby box over the vent that they had been previously nesting inside. The warm air from the vent would provide the babies and the unhatched eggs with the temperatures that they needed to safely grow.
I made a plan with the homeowner to return in four weeks to check on the chicks and the eggs. After all the baby birds have flown the nest safely, I will be able to climb back up the ladder and remove the temporary nest from the side of the home, removing the last traces of a bird problem for the homeowner.
Call Skedaddle for Assistance With Wild Birds
While you might believe you can handle removing birds nesting inside your home, calling Skedaddle can ensure everyone stays safe during the process. Birds often nest in the highest areas of a home, requiring proper equipment and training to reach safely. Handling wildlife without any experience can result in pecks and scratches, both of which cause pain and may transmit disease.
By incorrectly removing nesting materials from the vents, fire hazards and bacteria can also be left behind. Skedaddle technicians can also inspect your home for any remaining nesting sites and take measures to ensure no birds return to build in the future. If you need assistance with wild bird removal, contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Removal today for a wide variety of services that can help keep your Ottawa home free of avian invaders.