Nesting Birds In Roof Eaves

A common question we are asked at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, is how to stop birds nesting in roof eaves on a house.

Customers often have clients who will complain about noisy birds in their roof eaves and ask if they can remove the nests.

The answer is that it is illegal to remove nesting birds once they have settled. There are however ways to prevent birds nesting in roof eaves the following year, provided the correct work is done during the winter months when birds are no longer nesting.

We will explore the different reasons why birds decide to nest in roof eaves, and how they can be prevented from nesting in rooftops in the future.


Why do birds nest in roof eaves

According to the RSPB rooftops are vital sanctuaries for a lot of birds due to the loss of a lot of natural nest sites.

Birds that commonly nest on rooftops include:

  • House Sparrows.
  • Starlings.
  • Swifts.
  • Swallows.
  • Blue tits/Great Tits.
  • Jackdaws.


Why nests cannot be disturbed or removed

It is illegal to disturb or remove nesting birds from roof eaves once they have settled under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. This includes removing or blocking the bird’s access to their nest. Nests must be left with access until the young have had chance to develop and leave the nest on their own and the nest is no longer in use.

The reason for this is conservation. The RSPB have identified many of these rooftop nesting birds are in decline. Swifts have declined with Starlings and House Sparrows now red listed, and House Martins and Swallows now amber listed.


When will I be able to carry out work on a client’s roof?

If a client requires work on their roof that risk’s disturbing a occupied nest, try to recommend leaving the work until the winter months when the birds are no longer nesting, ideally between October and February.

This may be frustrating for both yourself and the client, however legally an morally it is the correct thing to do.


What if you don’t have a choice?

You should always avoid roofing project if you are aware of birds nesting in a roof, however often, bird nests go undetected until major roofing projects or renovation projects begin.

If this happens and the roof cannot go untouched until the young have left the nest, one option recommended by the RSPB is to make an artificial nest box for Starlings or Sparrows by cutting a four-litre ice cream tub.

See the RSPB website for advice on building an artificial nest box


Ways to discourage birds nesting in roof eaves

There are many recommendations you can make to your clients to help prevent birds nesting in their roof eaves in the future, such as:

  • Keeping on top of roof maintenance, ensuring they have their roof checked each winter by a professional roofer (between October and February), ensuring to clean out and seal any holes or gaps as appropriate, to reduce the risk of birds nesting or becoming trapped.
  • Putting out bird houses, providing alternative safe nesting spaces for birds.


How can we help?

Need the right tools for the job? Here at Kidderminster Roofing Supplies ltd, we can provide a free no obligation quotation for any roofing materials you need. Contact us today to see how we can help with you!

Tel: 01562 748270


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