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Dealing with birds in your home

Dealing with nests

If you have a bird's nest in your loft please do not touch it until the birds have flown.  All birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law under the Wildlife & Countryside Act of 1981. This makes it an offence, with certain exceptions, to deliberately take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built. It is also illegal to take or destroy the egg of any wild bird.  

If birds are causing you a problem

Under the council's pest control service dealing with birds is not covered and it is usually seen as a a residents responsibility.   If you are having any problems with birds including seagulls and pigeons, you will need a private pest control company to help you.  You can look up local contact details by searching online and in business telephone directories. 

What to do if there is a dead bird near or in your home? 
If it is safe and possible to do so, please remove the dead bird and dispose of it in your black lidded bin.  If the dead bird is located in a hard to reach location such as in guttering, on a high roof or down a chimney, please request its removal through your local Repairs Contractor.

Legislation on dealing with seagulls

The principal legislation dealing with the control of birds is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Generally, it is illegal to capture, injure or destroy any wild bird or interfere with its nest or eggs. The penalties for disregarding the law can be severe. 

The law does recognise that particular species of common bird, such as herring and lesser black backed gulls, can cause nuisance. The law allows measures to be taken against such birds in limited circumstances. 

Action can only be taken under general licences made under the 1981 Act for the purpose of preserving public health or public/air safety, preventing the spread of disease or for preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops. An offence would be committed if action could not be justified or defended for any of these purposes. 

Only the owner or occupier can take action against gulls nesting on their buildings. Specialist companies can protect your building from gulls by installing wires or spikes on chimney pots and other rooftop features.


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