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How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Posted by monicakm (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 13, 09 at 18:43

I think these little birds are Swallows. For years they've built mud nests in the corners of my front porch. Nothing I've done has deterred them. We're remodeling the front porch with new pillars, paint and porcelain tile. I just can't let them ruin the eaves with their sloppy muddy nests and the floor with bird poop :( I used to spray the nests down as they were building them but they'd win out every time. They do NOT give up :o Tried putting a rubber snake up there. They laughed! Any tried and true techniques for discouraging them building on my porch?
Thanks,
Monica


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

What a wonderful event... of course, I'm kinda on the side of wildlife whenever it is even remotely feasible. We would tell my boss (who wanted to spray down the nests on the eaves of the front porch of the gift shop) that it was easier to put a few chairs around for viewing and lay a piece of cardboard on the deck floor from the boxes our stock came in. He was always amazed at the entertainment the barn swallows provided and how many people were just enthralled with them. Come late August when they had raised 2 broods and headed south, we'd just clean the mud off the beam and it was good to go for another year. The floor was just fine...


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Connie, I like birds. I enjoy their music and their beauty but I don't like how they ruin my porch. Their nests are made of mud. It's splattered all around the nest and it doesn't wash off. It stains the paint. I've lived with this for 20 years (fighting them for half that time). I'm not looking to co-exist with them any longer. I'm looking for a way to discourage their building.
Monica


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Perhaps those owl decoys that are used on skyscrapers to deter pigeons might help. I'm not sure about this as I've never done it, but saw it working for deterring other birds.


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another thought

You also might try providing alternative nesting spots if you have any scrap wood from the remodel. Build a simple shelf that mimics where the barn swallows like to nest on your porch and place it in an area you can live with, just face it the same direction/height they currently select.

I've had pretty good success with alternatives for critter control - except wrens. They still insist my grill is the perfect home. Year after year, grill after grill...


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Boy, I wish I had your problem. I'm trying to get the swallows to nest. Built some wood shelves with roofing nails sticking out the back to attach the mud nests to. So far, no swallows.

My mom had a nest in the garage and always complained about the "poop" on her car.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

If you can find a crow decoy, that might work. Crows feed on Swallow young, plucking them right from the nest.
They come back every few days, looking for new-borns. Eventually the Swallows abandon the nest site.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Really not the right place to come for the advise you seek. I think most of us here would love to have them. Nature should come first, vanity and being concerned with mud and stains does not compute with me and I have a lovely well manicured home. You should feel belssed to have them.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Since swallows are PERFECT insecticides and ALL natural, to boot, you're fighting a losing battle.

Plus, destroying the nests by washing them down in many states is illegal until after the nesting season is over. Federal law prohibits it.

A way to live *with* it might be to erect a white-washed platform on hinges about ten inches below the nest to keep the droppings from falling onto your porch. After nesting season is over, you can remove the hinged board, re-white wash it and replace it for next season, after removing the nest and white-washing the nest area to clean up the mud. If your porch area is white, using white-wash will not only clean the mud, but will also re-whiten that corner.

Another possibility to *discourage* them would be to put a clean white plastic sheet about 1/16th of an inch thick, into the corner so there is no place for them to get a grip for nesting.

That will effectively deter them.

The only thing that's deterred the Cliff Swallows from nesting at our church in their colonies over the last few years have unfortunately been House Sparrows. . .and the House Sparrows don't last very long because they end up breaking the nests with their idea of what a nest should be. . .too much material inside. *sigh*

Barn Swallows, certain species of Flycatchers, American Robins and others will use mud to build their nests in the eaves, corners and above porch lights on buildings. These birds are extremely valuable in ridding an area of pest-insects.

You might consider that instead of deterring them, offer an alternative *for* them, in a different location of the house or a nearby out building, where they can raise their young in peace. Your porch will be cleaner, your area free of the bad insects (like mosquitoes), and the air filled with the sounds of swallows and wings in flight. . .a sound none of us should *ever* be without.

You are truly blessed to have them nesting on your house. I would love it if they'd nest over here. . .


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Please help me stop these robins from building a nest on my front porch light


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

jess, did you read my post? It has some alternatives to destroying the nests as well as ways to deter them from building.

One area locally, has had problems with Barn Swallows building nests on their porch lights every year. There was a little old lady who lived there and she'd get swooped on every time she opened her door to go outside.

Finally, in the off-season, the owner of the building placed a wire mesh screen in the shape of a can (you know, rounded sides, flat on bottom and top) and wedged it between the ceiling of the porch and the top of the porch light. This has worked.

It might be worth a try once the Robins are gone. Please do wait until they have left before destroying the nest?


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

My dad had the same problem. The swallows were attempting to nest on a small ledge high up on his front porch and were making a mess on the porch. He used a piece of shade cloth that I'd given him to shade his raised bed and stapled it from the edge of the small ledge up to the corner of the top of the porch. It wasn't unsightly and it did the trick. Shade cloth comes in various colors so if this works for you, you could probably find a color that's not too unsightly on your porch. I've read the fake owls do nothing to deter birds.
Robin


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Thanks so much for the info (feather_z9) as I believe swallows have made their mud nest on top of my suspended porch light here in Dallas, TX.

Can you tell me when their nesting season will be over? Do you think that your mesh wire idea will work for my situation since my porch light hangs down from the ceiling?

I haven't actually seen the swallows yet, but I do enjoy watching the cardinals who visit my backyard. :)


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I wish this was my problem!


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Try painting the ceiling of your porch blue. The color of the sky. This has worked for some people.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

For all those that wished my problem was theirs...I wish it was too (g) Thanks to those that offered advice on how to discourage them from building their muddy nests on my porch. DH just cleaned the porch this weekend to prepare it for paint. There were no baby birds in the nest. pudgeder, a friend recently told us about painting the porch ceiling blue. I thought he was joking. He's a painter and said they've had the request many times but he didn't know if it actually worked. DH plan on installing a stained v-grove ceiling.
Monica


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Well I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you, but I had the same problem and looked on this web site to find no help at all. I decided to spray some Cleaner with Bleach from the Dollar Tree. If you don't have one near you maybe you can mix a little bleach with water I don't know. But I did it a couple of days and the birds decided to move to another spot on top of the roof. I may have to go back every now and then I don't know, but they are gone for now. Hope it work for you. Best wishes.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

It's worth a try ladya0. Thanks for the tip.
Monica


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

So sad that a perfect white wash job brings more to your life than watching and assisting nature. Funny, if I had visitors that would be upset with something so special as nesting birds and the temp. mess they made I would not want to welcome them into my home. To each his own. Somehow I have a feeling you have a big screen tv too. I have a pond where the birds , frogs, etc. gather and frolic. TV is never on unless it is my nesting box camera. We all have different priorities. You are definatly entitled to yours. May God bless you and I hope you enjoy your tidy porch!


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Lucky for me I'm multi-talented and can do both...enjoy the peaceful countryside deep in the heart of the Piney woods of East Texas in which I live AND watch my 65" big screen tv :) And thanks, I do hope to enjoy my tidy porch (provided we find something that works)
Monica


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

It's amazing how some people can always find a way to be so critical to others. The only question Monica asked is for help dealing with a simple problem that she felt she had. Not a lecture on nature. Now this is what she considered her problem. One day you may come across something that you may consider your problem and someone else may not look at it as a problem. That is why God made all of us different and with different talents. Sweep around your own front door, before you try to sweep around someone elses. If you cant say something kind, dont say anything at all. If you cant help dont hinder. Continue to welcome the birds to your house and be blessed.
CYIPRAY


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Monica, good luck with deterring the Swallows, hopefully you can provide an alternate nest site for them. It is your prerogative to prefer not to have birds nesting on your porch. As someone who takes care of property for a living, IMO houses are for people, not wildlife!

Houses are often people's most valuable asset, and wildlife is generally destructive to human property, whether it's rodents, insects, bats, birds, etc. I didn't think it was cute when the Downy woodpeckers made holes in the rotting corner boards on my house before they were replaced last fall. The previous owner allowed mice to infest the basement insulation, you couldn't jostle it without getting a shower of seeds and mouse feces, and there are spots where mouse urine was dripping down the joists! Disgusting! It had to be entirely replaced.

The birds and other critters can have the 80% of rest of the yard that is naturalized and managed to provide habitat for them. Such as the dead tree snags I purposely left standing in back that are being used as nest sites for cavity nesting birds (including a pair of Eastern Bluebirds this year, I'm so excited! :).


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I enjoy birdwatching and bird photography. It doesn't mean I want birds leaving their droppings all over my front porch. It's a shame some people feel the need to post derogatory comments when someone is only asking for help. It's not like she asked what the best ammunition or poison was to use in this case. Get real.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

How is a big screen tv anti-nature?
You could hose off what they build every day until they find another spot.
I liked the birds nesting under our porches - but we had way over 1,000 sqft of porches didn't have to walk near. One year, before we removed a west side porch to make way for an addition, I actually went out in the afternoons and hosed down the roof to cool the babies off. I have fibromalgia (sp) and even with my limited energy, by the end of summer the paint would be peeling off the porch floor due to the atempt to stay ahead of the PILES OF POOP.
We let the birds be -for years- until time to sell the house, then the empty nests had to temporarly be hosed away. I'm sure they're back.
I also hung empty planters and those always had regular nests in them but were so messy they had to be dicarded annually. Don't even get me started about the pet peafowl (38-45 of them) who insisted on visiting our porch railings. We had to string a grid of fishing line to remedy that. The mess they left was down-right disqusting. Most of them were named and had different personalities.

I can understand why someone wouldn't want to live up close to the mess nesting birds can cause and that doesn't make them anti-nature, unless of course they have big-screen tv. You can't fault someone for trying to keep their home sanitary. Sorry, sometimes it hard to remain civil but my fingers have a mind of their own and are forcing me to type the words bird-brained.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Hi Monica

Just wondering how things worked out for you. I have been checking back to see if it worked or not. But you haven't written anything. Well, I hope you found something to help you out. I haven't had any more problems so far. Be Blessed CYIPRAY


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

ladya0, I haven't written because there's been no news/activity to report. We've decided to install a stained v-groove porch ceiling. That requires more time and effort (not to mention money)than just painting the whole thing and DH hasn't gotten started yet. Maybe this weekend if he doesn't have to work. I've saved the various suggestions and most definitely will be trying them when we're ready.
Thanks to those who have offered suggestions (and support) :)
Monica


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I had a pair of barn Swallows build a mud nest under my front porch. And for about 3 years they would come back (I enjoyed them being there) Then in the early Spring of the 4 year I rearranged the chairs on my porch and set one right under there nesting spot. I saw then when they can back that spring, it saddened me when they would not have anything to do with there old nesting sight. They ended up choosing a spot on the back of my well house. The chair being there put there nest at danger, animals climbing up to close to there nest and endangering there young. I will never set something close to Swallows nest again.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I, also, have tried to deter birds from building nests on my front porch. Not because of any mess and I love watching the baby birds fledge. However, we have a problem with black snakes coming onto the porch to try to eat the baby birds! Yesterday there was a 6 foot + black snake wrapped around my front door handle and climbing up the glass trying to reach the birds. I am still freaked out about that! Happens every year but first time on front door. Any suggestions for keeping snakes away???


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

The English birdwatching site, BirdForum, frequently has ads for a product called Bird-Be-Gone. I never followed the link but it claims to get rid of birds safely. I always thought it was a silly place to post an ad like that but maybe not.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

ladya0, I was searching for this old thread to send it to someone and thought I'd link to the update since you were wondering if we had any success. We did, but it didn't come till this spring. Hope you're still around :)
Monica

Here is a link that might be useful: Update on Swallow's Mud Nests


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

We have a phoebe who, for several years, has built a nest between the side of our house and the stone chimney. But this year, she built it over the light by our front door (which we never use).
I like having the phoebes, but I would prefer not to have the poop everywhere on the porch. Maybe she's go back to her old nesting site next year.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I have a problem with Robins trying to nest on the porch light. Right now I have a plastic bag over the light - held on with a rubber band. So far it has stopped them from building their nest. I hope it works! I tried the bleach/water combo and they kept coming.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

How timely. I was about to link to the "Update" I posted last year in case anyone was looking for a solution. There was one that had just purched in the corner. The nails still in place, we just cut a piece of rubber/foam netting and hung in over the nails. SO nice not having to worry about the mess they make and disease they carry.
Monica

Here is a link that might be useful: Update on Swallow's Mud Nests


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

So thankful to see posts about the birds. Yes, they are beautiful, but I do have a problem with the damage and stains, not to mention huge poop piles and SNAKES. I understand posts about washing, but we have real damage to eaves that is very costly. And.. SNAKES! Last spring two six footers on our deck,which is off my BEDROOM too! One draped over a picnic table and the other climbed in the screen door to my bedroom! If I had opened the door, a snake would be in my bedroom! Like birds, hate snakes! So, I need a way for the birds to go away!


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

After washing off the beginnings of a nest on the trim over my front door (for the 3rd time TODAY) I decided to check the internet to see if someone knows of a way to stop birds from building a nest. I love birds and have several feeders in my back yard. I even found a bird nest in one of my ivy plants yesterday, with 6 little white eggs in it, and I have no problem with it. However, I've been plagued with bird nests on my front porch all spring, and I'm fed up. I'm tired of being dive-bombed and pooped on every time I walk in or out my front door. The birds are messy and annoying and I think somewhat unsanitary in such close proximity. I do not appologize for my feelings on this, and sympathize with anyone who is experiencing it and would like to find a way to stop it.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Tried rubber snake, built on top of it.
Tried owl, build under it.
Tore it down every day for two weeks, they left for two weeks,
washed porch repainted. I think they hate white paint. To them it looks better with red mud and moss on it.
Been tearing it down for two weeks. I will give them 4 more days, then it will be the pellet gun.
Love birds, but tired of the mess.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

rick, did you look at the picture I linked to? This was my own "invention" (g) and we haven't had a bird try to nest in two summers :) It's a cheap, cheap, super simple solution. At the end of the season, we just take down the soft rubber woven backing and leave the tiny finish nails for next year :) I've fought this battle for about 25 years. This is the ONLY thing that has worked, plus it's virtually invisible. We shorted the length this year making them even less conspicuous. I promise you that the pellet gun won't work until you've killed all the Swallows within 200 miles! :o
Monica.

Here is a link that might be useful: 100% Swollow FREE Porches and Patios


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

i had a lot of swallows and sparrows nesting in my barn and shop and tried everything, however the best solution i found was zinc phosphide oats. i put about a half cup in a small dish on a ledge in my building and we haven't had a problem since.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I'm sure you're ready for the onslaught of hate coming your way. I just simply wanted them to go somewhere else to build their sloppy, disease ridden nest and got bombarded with malicious replies. Anywhere from "you should be proud they want to nest on your porch and crap all over the place", to "you probably own a 65" tv!" Which, btw, I do :)
So, you might want to go into hiding or assume a new identity :)


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Buy or make a barn swallow nest cup..It's made out of wood, and they make the mud around and in the cup, so it doesn't make a mess..It's a lot easier for them to make and it can even be used to move the swallows to a better spot.

http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/per/nestord.htm

Also, just a note ; removing a nest with eggs or nestlings is illegal, and can result in penalties amounting to a $15000 fine..


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I have had the same problem on my front porch. They build a mud nest between my light fixture and the house. I tried putting a rubber snake up... they built a nest on top of it! Finally on a whim, I put a few sheets of tin foil up. Just wedged it where they like to nest and they didn't try to build anymore. I saw them fly up there a couple of times when I first put it up, but they didn't like the look or feel of the foil and gave up! Now every season when I see the first signs of a nest I put the foil there. After awhile I can take it down when they are done trying to nest. It could be worth a try... simple and cheap!


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

This is not a very "human" friendly site!! Wow....a woman was simply asking for help as to how to deter these birds from building nests where they are not welcomed. I came here hoping for some for assistance as well. Not only are the birds messy, but they make it hard for anyone to be anywhere near the nesting area!! Adults and children!! So while a lot of you call this a thing of beauty and are envious of the problems some of us are having with these birds, the rest of us are struggling to coexist with them and just need help to discourage nest building. Geez...birds have rights but I don't?? Very selfish and judgmental group on this site.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

This sounds silly but it worked for me. I had birds building their nests under porch roof every year. Tried everything.
Last year in the spring I hung a plastic grocery bag on each porch post. The slightest breeze will catch the bag and inflate it, plus it moves of course. No more birds nests last year. I did the same this spring and no birds on the porch. One had started to nest until I put the bags out. Left and didn't come back. Would windsocks work? I don't know. I think it has something to do with the bags inflating. Or maybe they just decided to move on and it had nothing whatsoever to do with my experiment. Guess I'll never know.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

Doesn't sound silly to me. From my 1/4 century of experience with these birds, they don't just decide to move on. I'm sure your plastic bags did the trick :) Good for you!
Monica


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I am a little late to the party but here's something I tried and it worked! There is a product called Critter Out which is a repellent for rats and mice. Repellent, not poison. I had the same "you can't get rid of them" problem and when they started making their first dobs of mud this year, I sprayed the wall with the repellent and they left immediately. It's the best for mice I have found too.


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RE: How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

I can't help how bad someone wants these birds to build... no one should want them on their porch... they attract Mosquitos, their feces every where on your porch is not safe at all, and last year, we try to catch them before any eggs are in the nest, last year though, they built so quick and the eggs was in there so I didn't disturb them or touch the nest... but then one day I looked out my front door and a big snake was dangling down from my porch! No, no!! I love nature as much as anyone, but I don't blame anyone for not wanting them to build on to their house. I'm just saying... anything you can do to deter me from that close to your house, especially a high traffic area, because all that will be is a troublesome for the birds, if they're some where they are going to be disturbed 20 times a day.

This post was edited by bamachick82 on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 22:15


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