Frequently Asked Questions About Bird Removal

What bird species commonly cause problems in Gatineau and Ottawa?

House Sparrows, European Starlings, Rock Pigeons, House Finches, and Woodpeckers are frequent culprits in the region.

  • House Sparrows: These adaptable birds readily build nests near human dwellings, including attics, eaves, and behind siding. Their nests can block vents and soffits, causing moisture problems and potential fire hazards.
  • European Starlings: Aggressive and competitive, starlings favor cavities in buildings for nesting, causing blockages and ventilation issues. Their droppings can also be corrosive and damage surfaces. 
  • Rock Pigeons: Familiar urban residents, pigeons roost and nest on ledges, roofs, and balconies, creating sanitation concerns and potential damage. Their droppings can harbor diseases and their constant cooing can be a nuisance. 
  • House Finches: Beloved songbirds, house finches can cause problems when they nest near vents, eaves, or shutters, potentially clogging them with nesting materials.
  • Woodpeckers: While beneficial insectivores, woodpeckers can damage siding and shingles as they drill for food and create nesting cavities. Their drumming can also be a nuisance. 
How can I tell if I have a bird problem?

Listen for unusual sounds like chirping, hooting, or fluttering noises, particularly near eaves, vents, or chimneys during the day. Look for birds perched on rooftops, ledges, or nesting under eaves. Their droppings and feathers near potential nesting sites can also be clues. Additionally, inspect vents, soffits, and eaves for signs of pecking damage caused by birds searching for nesting materials or insects.

What are my options for removing birds?

At Aspen Wildlife Control, we prioritize humane methods that comply with local regulations set forth by the Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks (MFFP) in Quebec and the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) in Ontario. Here are some common options:

  • Exclusion Techniques: These methods allow birds to leave your property on their own but prevent them from re-entering. This is the preferred approach by wildlife authorities as it minimizes stress on the birds.
    • One-Way Doors: Strategically installed at entry points like chimney flues, soffit vents, or crawl spaces, these doors allow trapped birds to exit but prevent them from returning.
    • Chimney Caps: Chimneys are a common entry point for birds. We’ll install a secure, wildlife-proof chimney cap that allows proper ventilation while keeping unwanted guests out.
    • Exclusion Wire Mesh: Heavy-duty wire mesh can be used to seal gaps around your roofline, eaves, or other potential entry points. This prevents access while allowing for proper ventilation.
Is bird removal legal?

Yes, but regulations exist to protect bird populations and nesting seasons.  We adhere to guidelines set by the MFFP [1] and OMNRF [2].  These regulations can vary, so it’s important to work with a professional who understands the legalities of bird removal in your area.

What are some inhumane bird removal methods to avoid?

Some methods, like chemical deterrents and poisons, are not only cruel to the birds but can also be ineffective and disrupt the natural ecosystem.  Chemical deterrents can irritate birds’ respiratory systems and eyes, and poisons can harm other animals who ingest them, either directly or by consuming a poisoned bird. 

How can I prevent future bird problems?

Once the birds are removed, we’ll identify and seal all entry points using durable materials to prevent future infestations.  We can also provide recommendations on how to minimize attractants around your property, such as bird feeders or accessible food sources like open garbage cans. Sealing pet food containers and keeping birdseed feeders away from your house can also deter birds from hanging around.

Is it okay to remove a bird's nest?

In most cases, disturbing an active nest with eggs or chicks is illegal according to provincial wildlife regulations.  Our technicians are trained to identify active nests and will recommend the best course of action, which may involve waiting until the nesting season is over before removing the birds. 

What should I do if I find a sick or injured bird?

If you find a sick or injured bird, it’s best to contact a wildlife rehabilitation center.  These centers have trained professionals who can care for the bird and release it back into the wild when healthy. You can find a list of wildlife rehabilitation centers in your area by searching online or contacting your local wildlife agency.

Can I coexist peacefully with birds?

In some cases, peaceful coexistence with birds is possible.  For example, if you have a bird feeder but it’s attracting unwanted species, you can try using a different type of feeder or seed that deters those birds.  However, if birds are causing significant damage or creating a health hazard, professional removal may be necessary.

How long does the bird removal process typically take?

The bird removal process can vary depending on the situation.  Simple exclusion techniques using one-way doors may only take a day or two.  More complex situations, like removing birds from a crawl space, might take longer.  A reputable wildlife removal company will be able to assess the situation and give you an estimate of the time it will take to resolve the problem.