Preventing and managing conflicts with birds
How to keep unwanted birds away from your property, including crows, ravens, Canada geese, starlings, wild turkeys and pigeons.
How to make a property uninviting
To discourage birds from landing on your property, you can use:
- pie tins hung in trees
- recordings of birds in distress
- models of birds of prey
- propane-fired exploders, sirens or bright flashing strobes
If birds are roosting on your property, you can:
- install a sprinkler
- illuminate the roosting area with bright fluorescent lights
- discourage roosting by thinning up to half of tree branches
- seal off entry holes to your home to prevent roosting
Lethal action should be your last resort to remove any animal damaging your property.
If you take lethal action, you must not cause unnecessary suffering to the animal.
For migratory bird species, some scare tactics and all lethal measures require a federal permit.
Scare tactics that require a federal permit include the use of:
You must also follow firearm regulations and local bylaws or you can hire a wildlife control agent to act on your behalf.
How to manage conflict with larger birds
Crows and ravens
- 10 cm mesh netting can prevent the birds from getting to their preferred roosting sites
- when possible, stay away from nesting areas with aggressive birds until their hatchlings are flying (three to four weeks after eggs hatch) and the parents are no longer so protective
Keep geese from getting to their preferred areas by using:
- dense tall grass, shrubs, aquatic plants, trees and bushes
- fences or grids of wire, cable, twine or rope - stretched 30 to 50 centimetres above the surface of ponds or over new plantings
- collect nesting material and remove it to prevent it from being used again
- if the birds are caring for young, wait until the young can fly out of the nest, then remove all nesting materials and cover all openings
- scare turkeys with loud noises, swatting with a broom or spraying water from a hose
- modify the structure of the bird’s night roost by removing branches, adding netting, or placing balloons or other visual deterrents
- if you need to use lethal action, target adult hens and remove only a few birds to displace the flock
- you can hunt turkey in the open season with a valid Outdoors Card and appropriate licences and seals and if you follow certain regulations, seasons and municipal bylaws
- continually remove pigeon nests to discourage the birds from nesting — pigeons will leave an area after several unsuccessful attempts at nest building
- local wildlife control agents can assist with pigeon removal, cleanup of droppings or nesting material
- if a pigeon gets into your home, turn off all inside lights and open all windows and other exits and it should leave on its own
- if necessary, a broom or long pole with a t-shirt at the end can be used to direct the bird out an exit, or tire it to a point where it can be caught in a towel or similar item