how to keep birds out of shed

Controlling Birds Around Farm BuildingsSteps to keep birds from becoming a problem or to lessen the problem if one currently exists.

Birds in large numbers can damage and create unhygienic working conditions in and around barns, livestock and poultry facilities, and farm buildings. Birds have the ability to eat and contaminate food and water, which could cause diseases to spread to livestock and poultry. Accumulated droppings are messy and can corrode farm equipment. Nests frequently clog gutters and drains, and birds can also inflict harm by eating through insulation.

There are things you can do to prevent birds from becoming an issue or to minimize an existing issue. However, you should be aware of the laws safeguarding birds, be able to identify the specific birds causing the issue, and have some understanding of their habits and behavior before starting any control program. This is required because the characteristics of a specific bird species dictate the approaches to take in order to manage the issues the birds cause. Certain species, especially in and around barns and other farm buildings, can be problematic. These include house finches, house sparrows, pigeons, and European starlings.

Pigeons, or Rock Doves

Pigeons, familiar to most people, are an exotic (nonnative) species. Their eating habits are omnivorous; while they eat grain and seed, they also eat bread, insects, and other human leftovers. Pigeons around barns may feed on grain that has been spilled or stored incorrectly. They nest on building ledges, rafters, and beams. Nests are fragile, shallow platforms composed of grasses, twigs, and sticks. Although they can breed all year round, pigeon production peaks in the spring and fall.

An exotic (nonnative) species that was brought from Europe to North America is the European starling. Large flocks of starlings are common, and they tolerate humans quite well. Similar to pigeons, starlings are omnivores that consume a variety of foods, including insects, seeds, berries, grains, trash, and human leftovers.

These birds are cavity nesters. They build their nests in drain pipes, within wall and ceiling openings, and in any other cavity-like opening found inside and around buildings. Starlings typically produce two broods between April and July.

Pennsylvania is relatively new to house finches, which are native to the western United States. Since their 1940 release in New York, they have spread out and begun to breed in Pennsylvania in the 1970s. They resemble purple finches, with the exception that the males’ red coloring on their faces and breasts is less intense. Females are streaked brown overall. House finches consume mainly seeds. This diet makes them drawn to feeders for birds and livestock.

House finches nest in a variety of places and are well suited to urban and suburban settings. They create their nests in hanging plants, conifers, vines, and cavities in buildings as well as on ledges. House finches can breed as early as March in Pennsylvania. They generally have two or more broods per summer.

House sparrows are a nonnative species introduced from Europe. The man can be identified by his white cheeks and black bib. Much more difficult to distinguish, the female is frequently mistaken for other sparrows. She has a buff eye stripe, a streaked back, and an unstreaked, dingy breast. Her overall color is gray brown. She can often be identified by her noisy monotone chirp. Knowing how to recognize this species is crucial because all other sparrow species are legally protected.

House sparrows consume many insects during the spring and summer. As generalists, they also eat food that people discard, including garbage, and they feed on grain and weed seeds in fields and around barns.

Large, untidy piles of grass, straw, leaves, and garbage make up the nests that sparrows construct in cavities. Nests built in the open are often domed. Rafts, holes in walls, spaces behind shutters and under eaves are among their preferred nesting locations near barns and other buildings. House sparrows nest primarily from March to September. A female has two to three broods per year.

Legal Status and Permit Process

State and federal laws protect all birds, with the exception of pigeons, house sparrows, and European starlings. Killing any other species of bird without a special permit is prohibited, as is indirectly causing the demise of a protected species. For instance, you are legally liable if you release a poisonous chemical to kill starlings and a protected bird perishes as a result.

Moreover, disturbing a bird that has young or eggs in its nest is prohibited. There is one exception to the law. When blackbirds, cowbirds, crows, and grackles are seen causing or about to cause damage, they can be killed without a permit. Crows can be shot during the legal hunting season.

If damage control methods cause harm to protected birds, a permit will be required. You can get a “Migratory Bird Depredation Permit” from the U S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Pennsylvania is located in FWS Region 5, and the application for a permit needs to be sent to the headquarters of that region, which is in Hadley, Massachusetts. A copy of the permit application is available from USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services’ Pennsylvania office (P O. Box 60827, Harrisburg, PA 17106. Toll free number 866-487-3297). Wildlife Services can provide information, loan damage control materials, and assist you with the permit process.

A copy of the permit is sent to Wildlife Services after it has been submitted to the FWS. Wildlife Services inspects the property for which the permit is being requested and then recommends action to the FWS. Additionally, Wildlife Services confers with the local wildlife conservation officer of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The suggestions are returned to FWS, which forwards the authorization to the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Game Commissions. Prior to the permit being enforceable, the Game Commission needs to co-sign it. The permit will be sent to you if the Game Commission and the FWS concur that it should be granted.

The best strategy for managing birds near farm buildings varies depending on the circumstances. The techniques suggested below have worked for other people. You will probably need a combination of techniques. Regardless of the approach you take, be persistent and begin control efforts early, before the issue gets out of hand. Reducing bird problems takes time. Understand the biology and behavior of the pest species so that you can determine the most effective treatment methods.

The extremely abundant food source found in livestock facilities is one of the main draws for birds. Limit the amount of food and water available to birds by adhering to these farm management practices on a daily basis. This will lessen the chance that large flocks of birds will congregate in and around farm buildings:

  • Clean up all spilled grain.
  • Store grain in birdproof containers.
  • When possible, use covered feeders that exclude birds.
  • Keep the water level in livestock waterers at a level that is both shallow enough for birds perched on the edge of the waterer to reach it and deep enough for birds to not stand in.

Removing birds from buildings is the best way to minimize issues with them. Although it can be expensive initially, this is frequently the most economical course of action over time.

  • Hang plastic strips in doorways. Plastic strips hung in doorway keep birds out. Doorways that are impossible to keep closed can be blocked by hanging vertical strips of heavy plastic. They keep birds out but let people and machinery through.
  • Close all openings more than 0. 5 inch. Cover vent, eaves, and loft openings with wire mesh, glass, metal, or wood. Repair broken window panes.
  • Use netting to cover the undersides of the rafters to keep birds away from roosting places.

Plastic strips hung in the doorway will keep birds out.


What scares all birds away?

Generally speaking, birds hate strong smells, shiny objects, and predators, such as birds of prey and larger animals or humans.