Spring is beautiful and exciting, but it’s also the time when we get a lot of calls about wildlife problems. In March and April these calls are usually related to bird removal in Maryland. There are several birds in our state that like to build nests in our homes, whether it’s in cavities, such as dryer vents or in sheltered areas, such as attics. It’s important to know these birds and be able to identify the problem quickly, so that you can get the birds removed before they do any serious damage.

Sparrows Nesting in Vents

English house sparrows are rather common in Maryland and in U.S. in general. Interestingly, they are not native to this continent and are found virtually all over the world. They are cavity-nesting birds, which means they like to build nests in tight, covered spaces. This could be letters of a storefront sign, a broken light fixture, rafters, as well as dryer vents and similar spaces. House sparrow nests can be messy and tightly packed, so if they are nesting in a vent, they can restrict the air flow significantly. House sparrows also compete with other native birds for resources and can be rather aggressive. If you are trying to attract bluebirds or chickadees to your yard, you may have to manage house sparrows to make sure they don’t harass and kill other birds. House sparrows look similar to a few other birds. Here is a video showing how you can identify them correctly. If you see house sparrow going in and out of your roof or dryer vent, contact us right away! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAU59srRzAs

Starlings Nesting in Vents

European starling is a bird about the size of a robin that also likes to nest in vents, including dryer vents, stove vents and bathroom exhaust vents. In the wild, starlings nest in tree cavities, so any open gaps on your home’s exterior look perfect for them. They will even nest in unused grills! European starlings, as you may have guessed from the name, are also not a native species. Amazingly, they can build a nest in just one to three days, which means you should watch out for them and act fast if you find one nesting in your vent. Similar to house sparrows, European starlings can also be aggressive toward other birds, especially smaller ones, driving them away from your property. Here is an example of a starling gaining access to its nest inside a dryer vent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlKFsNmVhAE

Be Careful When Removing Birds From Vents

European starling and English house sparrow are the most common birds in Maryland that choose to nest in vents. As you already know, their activities can block the vent, preventing it from doing what it’s supposed to do. If it’s a dryer vent, the nest may prevent your clothes from getting dry and may cause the dryer to overheat and even start a fire. If it’s a bathroom vent, it may create plumbing problems or cause unpleasant smell. Beside the obvious, birds nesting in vents also create problems due to their noise, parasites and droppings that fall on the exterior of your home. Before you take the steps to remove nesting birds, make sure you can positively identify the species. Many birds in the U.S. are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which means their nests can’t be disturbed without a special permit. If you are not sure which bird species you are dealing with, it’s best to call a Maryland bird removal expert like our techs here at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control.