- Colour Some of the most common bird colourations include shades of grey, white, black, and brown. Pigeons may appear with streaks of light blue, green, lilac, peach, and various other shades.
- Size The smallest pest bird species, house sparrows, are approximately 14 cm to 18 cm long with a wingspan of 19 cm to 25 cm. At the other end of the spectrum, Canadian geese boast a wingspan as long as 182 cm and range from 90 to 120 cm in length.
- Description Six types of birds found in Canada can be classified as nuisance pests: house sparrows, starlings, pigeons, woodpeckers, gulls, and Canada geese
How to identify Birds
Canadian bird pests vary in length, overall size, and colouration. The smallest pest bird species, house sparrows are approximately 14 to 18 cm long with a wingspan of 19 to 25 cm. At the other end of the spectrum, Canada geese boast a wingspan as long as 182 cm and range from 90 to 120 cm in length. Some of the most common bird colourations include shades of grey, white, black, and brown. Pigeons, which rank as arguably the most colourful bird pest, may appear with streaks of light blue, green, lilac, peach, and various other shades.
Signs of an infestation
Birds are not exactly stealthy creatures, and infestations usually become evident with the increased presence of adult birds, the frequent occurrence of chirping and other noises, the sighting of nests, and an increased quantity of droppings in the area.
Modifying the surrounding environment can aid property owners in ridding buildings of nuisance birds. Netting or spike strips can be strategically positioned to deter or prevent birds from landing and nesting. Noise devices, such as generators that mimic the sounds that natural predators make, work best in agricultural settings, while visual scare tactics are effective in the short term or when paired with other prevention and exclusion techniques. For particularly aggressive birds and those protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, call a fully licensed pest control professional to take care of the problem legally and effectively.
How to prevent Birds from invading
Monitor water accumulating at likely nesting sites, fix any broken or deficient drainage systems, cover outdoor garbage containers tightly, eliminate any notable sources of food.
Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle
Many of the pest birds in Canada are migratory species which fly south when the temperatures approach the freezing point. Many pest birds have a widely distributed population and benefit greatly from the development of cities and the distribution of human populations. Some species construct nests and raise their young in elevated areas, while others nest on the ground. Birds generally prefer to live in the immediate vicinity of a water source but have no trouble flying reasonable distances to collect food. Most species adapt well to various surroundings.
Pest birds mainly eat fruits, seeds, grains, and insects. Many species live in close proximity to people and often feed on human food like bread, popcorn, peanuts, cake, discarded restaurant fare, and similar items. Much to the dismay of farmers, pest birds frequently target crops and livestock feed, as well. Gulls and Canada geese in particular maintain special dietary preferences. Gulls often feed on fish, rodents, and carrion, while the geese mostly consume plants like cattails, clover, and grass.
Without exception, birds mate and rear their young in the spring and summer months. On average, pest birds produce one or two broods each year. House sparrows, however, can produce as many as five generations annually. Most birds require an incubation period of two weeks, though the eggs of both Canada geese and gulls require nearly a month of incubation. Newly hatched birds then leave the nest after an average of two to four weeks of preening. Depending on a variety of factors, nuisance birds typically live between 2 and 10 years.
Commonly Asked Questions
How worried should I be about birds?
Pest birds can carry parasites like fleas, mites, and ticks, and transmit diseases to humans and livestock. Pigeon excrement often contains the fungal diseases histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis, which are especially dangerous to people with compromised immune systems.
Many bird species are noisy and can damage buildings and equipment. Not only are pest bird droppings unsightly, they can stick to buildings, potentially eroding the structure.
Pest birds can also create drainage issues and fire hazards by nesting in the small crevices, drains, and gutters of buildings. Many bird species are also aggressive towards humans or native bird populations.
However, dealing with pest birds can be difficult, due to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protects certain species from trapping and relocation practices. Any attempt to remove a pest bird must also comply with the Fish & Wildlife Act.
While netting, spike strips, noise devices, and visual scare tactics may be valid options, often only a professional, licensed pest control service can meet the regulatory standards required when it comes to removing and keeping away pest birds.
Types of Birds
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