do birds build nests in gutters

Most people understand the purpose of installing gutters around the roofline of their homes and garages: to divert rainwater from the roof and house to someplace safe, well away from any structures that could potentially sustain water damage. Pretty simple, right? Yet this standard home-maintenance task is one that many homeowners push to the back burner in favor of dealing with seemingly more pressing problems.

Part of the issue is the old saying about “out of sight, out of mind”. This is especially true with gutters, since they are located well above our line of sight. Most people can’t see the debris collecting in their gutters without going to some trouble to do so. Clogged gutters can lead to big problems down the road, however, including water damage, flooding issues, unwelcome visitors like birds and mosquitoes nesting or breeding in gutters, and more.

Following is the lowdown on how to stop birds from building nests in gutters, the reasons why blocked gutters actually are a potentially urgent issue and the importance of keeping up with this particular aspect of home maintenance.

Bird Deterrents for Gutters

There are a few strategies to discourage birds if they are particularly bothering your gutters. Consider installing:

  • Gutter guards: Made of thin aluminum sheets, gutter guards completely enclose your gutter except for a small slit. The purpose of these guards is to keep leaves and other debris out of the gutters. However, they may also deter birds. The birds ought to be unable to bathe in the gutters any longer. Their breaks shouldn’t be able to reach the water, even if they are thin enough to fit into the gutter’s tiny opening. The birds will find another source of water if they are unable to drink.
  • Roofbird spikes: Picture a slender plastic panel with multiple upward-projecting spikes. These are roof bird spikes, also called anti-roosting strips. The strips make it uncomfortable for the bird to land. You can prevent birds from accessing the gutters if you place them on the roof directly above the gutters.

How To Keep Birds From Making Nests In Unwanted Places

Some homeowners may even find it cute that there are bird nests in their gutters. Since they require a secure area to lay their eggs and raise their young, birds must construct their homes somewhere. Due to factors like urban sprawl, many bird species have run out of places to build their nests, resulting in fewer trees and other natural nest sites that birds need to survive. Nothing is cuter than a nest full of tiny baby birds peeking out from fragile, cracked eggshells, when you stop to think about it!

Even though everything above is accurate, understanding how to prevent birds from building nests in undesirable areas, such as your gutters, is nevertheless crucial. Maintaining clean gutters is the most important step in preventing bird nests from entering your gutter system.

It makes sense that many homeowners put gutter cleaning at the bottom of their lists of things to do because it’s an unsightly home maintenance chore. Gutter cleaning is risky, dirty, sometimes extremely muddy work. Cleaning your gutters on your own can be risky depending on the height of your house; you might not even have a ladder tall enough to complete the task.

These are only a few of the explanations for why a lot of homeowners neglect their gutters, particularly if there aren’t any apparent drainage issues with their house or property. However, astute homeowners are aware that maintaining clean gutters ought to be at the top of the list of routine home maintenance duties. Gutter cleaning is just one of the things you should do to maintain the condition of your house and yard and stop damage from developing over time—damage that will undoubtedly require an immediate, and frequently costly, repair.

Discouragement or prevention of birds nesting in undesirable locations is the best approach to deal with this issue. To greatly reduce the likelihood of birds settling in your gutters, keep them free of leaves, sticks, mud, and other debris that they use to build their nests. Here are some additional preventative measures that may be useful in preventing birds from building nests in undesirable locations. To prevent birds from becoming trapped inside, keep in mind that you should only use these techniques after you have confirmed that there are no birds or eggs in the areas you are attempting to keep bird-free:

  • Put in surface-tension material, wire mesh, or plastic screen gutter guards over your current gutters.
  • Any gaps or holes in your porch, eaves, roof, or other places where birds could build nests should be sealed with steel wool. For a truly sealed-off area, reinforce the steel wool by covering it with wood or metal.
  • Upgrade outdated gutters with new ones that are better at keeping leaves and birds out.
  • To give birds a secure place to eat and build their nests, install birdhouses, nesting boxes, and bird feeders on your property.

In order to reduce the likelihood of leaves, sticks, pine needles, and other debris getting into your gutters, it’s also a good idea to keep trees well away from your home.

Birds can congregate inside and outside of your home in areas other than your gutters. When homeowners discover a nest or other indications that a bird has made its way inside, they frequently wonder how to get rid of birds in the attic. Birds that are seeking shelter from the weather may fly into these openings, chimneys, and windows. Steel wool works well in these areas as well for keeping birds out. Depending on whether you have a window to open or some other simple means of letting the bird fly out on its own, you may need to show it the way out. In other situations, your best option might be to consult a wildlife expert to keep these unwanted houseguests out of these areas.

How To Get Rid Of Birds Nesting In Roof

It’s crucial to avoid disturbing bird nests when they’re actively nesting, which is usually from spring through early fall, if you have birds building their nests in gutters or other undesirable areas. In North America, laws protect over 800 different bird species, making it unlawful to kill, trap, or disturb their nests while they are in the nesting season. For this reason, if you need to remove a bird’s nest from your gutters, wait until late fall or winter. Better yet, try to deter birds from building nests in the first place.

During the nesting season, it is forbidden to kill, trap, or disturb birds, but it is lawful to destroy a nest that has already begun. You must take immediate action to clear the debris from your roof or gutter if you see a bird starting to construct a nest. Otherwise, the bird may finish the job.

You cannot just knock down a bird’s nest that it has already made in your roof, gutter, eaves, or any other unwelcome location. Moving it to a different location on your own property is even prohibited. Disturbing a bird’s nest can be harmful to your health in addition to being against the law because many birds carry diseases and mites that can infect humans. The most effective way to remove birds from your roof is to either hire a wildlife rescue or pest control professional to handle the issue. Alternatively, you could wait until the end of the nesting season in late fall or early winter, at which point you could remove the nest safely. At that point, you ought to start taking precautions against nest-building in the future.


How do I get rid of birds nest in my gutters?

Your best bet, in this case, is to call a trusted pest control company or your local wildlife removal service to handle the problem legally and humanely. If you find a bird’s nest in your gutter and it is late fall or wintertime, you are legally allowed to remove it yourself.

What are birds doing in my gutters?

Do Birds Nest in Gutters? Yes, birds do nest in gutters for several reasons, but the most common is that they help shelter and support the nest. Birds look for high areas such as gutters to roost and perch. These areas provide vantage points for birds to scout for food, water, and look out for dangerous threats.

Do Robins nest in gutters?

American Robins also nest in gutters, eaves, on outdoor light fixtures, and other structures. In western prairies, American Robins may build their nests on the ground or in thickets, while in Alaska they sometimes nest on buildings or cliffs.

What birds build nests on downspouts?

Thrushes, finches, doves, starlings and all sorts of mid-sized birds fit perfectly into your cozy little gutter systems, and that is why they find these homes just perfect for raising their little family. And while it may seem cute, it will become a major issue eventually.