do porch lights bother birds

Pigeons, crows, sparrows, and other birds inviting you on your patio isn’t a warm greeting. Instead, it will provide you headaches due to the stinky droppings and pecking that your patio has actually withstood.

And for sure, this situation of your deck isn’t welcoming for your future visitors. You have to do something and discover methods to get rid of birds on the porch prior to it affecting your household and social interaction.

Keep in mind the trite saying, “the first impression lasts”. Your patio is the first part of your home that people will step into. If it reeks of bird droppings, it would be an unsightly (and unsanitary) welcome.

Fear not, we can help you avoid this problem. Here’s how to avoid birds nesting on your porch.

Swap Out Your Lamps

There are still ways to make your outdoor lights more bird-friendly even if you are unable to swap out your unshielded lights for shielded ones. Selecting the appropriate lamp, also known as a “light bulb,” can also aid in lowering light pollution. When selecting light bulbs, consider the amount of light they will emit. Instead of focusing on watts, which only indicate how much energy the lamp consumes, pay attention to the lumen level, which indicates how much light is produced. Lower lumen light bulbs are still bright enough for a variety of home applications, but they won’t shine as much into the sky.

do porch lights bother birds

It’s not just the brightness of your light bulbs that you should check, though. The color of your lights matters too. LED lights can emit high levels of cool, blue light, which has a relatively far reach and has also been shown to negatively affect wildlife behavior and reproduction. This means more light pollution penetrates the night sky and disturbs not just migratory birds, but other wildlife as well. Whenever possible, opt for warm-colored lights that have a shorter reach and fewer negative effects on wildlife. For this, Pete Strasser, technical director at IDA, recommends choosing lights in the range of 2100-2200 Kelvin, a measure of color temperature.

Don’t Provide Them a Comfortable Place to Nest

The materials birds use to build their nests are one of the reasons they keep congregating on your deck. Remove any dried leaves, branches, or other materials that could be utilized to construct a nesting site.

Try to keep the dried leaves off of your deck and observe if that helps.

Does It Need to Be On?

Depending on your requirements, turning off the lights may be the easiest way to lessen light pollution on your land. There are many lights that we turn on just out of habit without giving them any thought. Consider whether each light really needs to be on; you might find that it doesn’t, at least not all the time. Many outdoor lights can be set to turn on only when needed by using motion sensors or timers. And great news! If there’s no need for the light at all, just turn the switch to “off,” and you’re done!

Taking time to assess the lights on and around your home is the first step towards making them bird-friendly. Get started with IDA’s step-by-step home outdoor lighting assessment to see if there are ways your outdoor lighting can be improved. Installing shielded lights is a great way to limit how much light escapes your property into the night sky. But even smaller actions like changing out cool, blue lamps for gentler, warmer ones—or simply turning off lights altogether—reduce light pollution. With every improvement, we dim the city and put the stars back in the sky, where migratory birds can once again follow them home safely. Thank you to Isabelle Pardew for creating the illustrations for this piece.

Help birds migrate safely through Colorado.

Help reduce light pollution around Great Salt Lake.

Save migratory birds by turning off outdoor lights.

News and stories about birds and conservation in the Rockies.

Attend an event in person or virtually to help or learn about birds.

Meet the people behind our work.


Do birds like porch light on?

This is definitely not ideal to your fixture, although, birds dig the fact your porch light provides warmth for their eggs and there is plenty support to support her nest. With fling feathers, twigs and bird droppings, it can be quite the mess on your porch.

Does light bother birds at night?

Throughout the year, nighttime lighting can affect birds by illuminating their habitats. This can cause birds to avoid habitats essential for their survival and can alter the relationships between predators and prey, all because these areas have too much light.

How do I keep birds from building nests on my porch lights?

While not guaranteed, a toy snake draped across or tacked up close to the area where they are trying to build is enough to get them to abandon that nest site. We also have Scare Tape that can be suspended in the area and some have had luck with hanging old CDs from the ceiling. They will find a new place to nest.

Why are birds attracted to my porch?

Birds generally settle in areas that provide shelter, easy access to food and protection from weather and predators, which is why they may choose to perch on your front porch. Read below to find helpful methods for how to help get rid of birds nesting on your porch.