Listening to the chirping songbirds when out and about in the countryside, but at home this pleasure can quickly pass. When birds such as sparrows, swallows and the like build a permanent nest under the roof, this poses a number of problems. The stinking feces of the little flyers is just one of them. Most bird species are protected by law and must not be expelled too harshly. What gentle methods are good bird deterrents?

sparrows, pigeons and co.

The facades of our houses often offer inviting nesting sites for numerous species of birds . They gladly accept the involuntary invitation. If we notice your nest and it bothers us, we need to find a good solution. The first step is to find out what kind of bird lives under the roof. Here is a small excerpt from the possible guest list:

  • pigeons
  • sparrows
  • woodpeckers
  • tits
  • swallows

The legal protection

Before you hastily grab a disturbing bird’s nest to remove it from the roof, you should definitely inquire about the currently applicable regulations. Most European bird species are protected because many of them are in acute danger of extinction.

  • never remove nests during the breeding season
  • even young birds must be left alone
  • sometimes even an abandoned nest may not be removed

Official Permission

Removal of inhabited nests may in some cases be necessary to avert danger to the occupants of the house. In most cases, official approval must be obtained beforehand. There are good opportunities with:

  • very large population (many birds)
  • Danger for children and sick people from droppings
  • impending damage to the building

peaceful coexistence

The path that nature, with its love of diversity, would prefer is certainly the peaceful coexistence of humans and animals. In view of the fact that many bird species are endangered, this trail is safe for nature-loving people.

The more endangered the bird species is, the more speaks for their temporary tolerance. If the settlement is also limited to a few specimens, the damage is limited. If waiting is not an option, the birds should be gently chased off the roof. For example, with one of the methods listed below, which in many cases are suitable for bird control.

hangers and bird tapes

Sparrows in particular are easily irritated by reflective objects and avoid coming near them. You can buy special hangers or bird tapes and use them to drive away the feathered singers, though not forever. After a while you get used to it and the little birds are no longer deterred.
Change positions at regular intervals to ensure the intended effect is maintained. You can also use this repellent alternately or in combination with other gentle methods to effectively repel unwanted birds.

Tip: A chain of old, unused CDs attached along the roof is a glittering yet free bird deterrent.

ultrasonic device

Ultrasound is not audible to humans, nor is it dangerous according to current scientific knowledge. There are battery-powered devices that emit interfering frequencies. Pigeons in particular don’t seem to like them. The ultrasound is also perceived from a great distance, which is why it can also be used for large areas. A disadvantage is that such a device is expensive and the effect is sometimes controversial.

Acoustic bird deterrent

Electrical devices that make bird noises can also scare birds off the roof. However, these bird sounds can also be heard by the human ear and are not always pleasant over the long term. If you don’t mind and the neighbors don’t object, you can try this gentle method.

attract swifts

When the swift comes, woodpeckers fly away. This is why the swift can be specifically attracted as a bird deterrent. But what is the advantage if one bird flies away and another comes? Swifts leave less dirt than other bird species!

This species of bird is attracted by its own species call, which can be purchased on CDs. Sometimes the call alone is enough to drive the woodpeckers away.

bird traps

Small birds have natural enemies among the larger bird species, which is why they tend to avoid getting close to them. Ravens and crows are such birds of prey that like to clear out other people’s nests.

  • buy one or more dummy ravens
  • in the hardware store or garden trade
  • they should be able to move and not stand still
  • attach to the roof
  • occasionally change position

The fortification work involves risks because work is carried out at great heights. Make sure you don’t put yourself in danger unnecessarily. A stable, long ladder is ideal, while climbing around on the windowsill is to be avoided at all costs.


A free-roaming cat is also a gentle bird deterrent, even if it seems different at first glance. High under the roof she will hardly get the birds in her claws. However, their presence and meowing are enough to drive unwelcome visitors off the roof.

No nets and poison!

Sometimes nets are stretched on the roof to keep the birds away. This method is animal cruelty and should not be used. This also applies to poison. Only use gentle methods to drive away nuisance birds.

Remove abandoned nests

Most native bird species leave their nests during the cold season to migrate to the warm south. This is a good time to remove the empty dwellings. This will prevent them from being used as shelter by other birds in the spring.

Check with the regional environmental protection agency beforehand to see if removal of the nest is allowed. This is not the case for all bird species.

fill holes

You can also avoid resettlement by eliminating inviting spots on the house facade. Wall openings and cavities are popular for nest building and should be filled by February at the latest, before the first returning bird species come to fly.

Holes left by woodpeckers in the facades should be closed in autumn. Otherwise, penetrating moisture can impair the thermal insulation.

attach spikes

Spikes are metal rods that are criss-crossed on a rail. They are placed on the gutter or the ridge and reliably drive away any birds that want to perch on the roof.

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