Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
At 32cm long, the common pigeon is mostly blue/grey in colour, although can also be seen to be white, brown or black. With clutches of up to 4eggs each, pigeons can lay up to 2-3broods per year, which incubate for 17-19days. Prior to flight, the young pigeons spend 35-37days in the nest.
Pigeons mainly feed on seeds, green feed, or domestic scraps that they find near or around their nest. Their nests are built on ledges, under eaves and other sheltered areas such as roof voids.
Starlings (Sturnus Vulgaris)
At 20cm long, the Starling has pointed wings and a short tail which makes them easily recognisable when flying. Although they appear to be plain black, light can sometimes catch their wings and cause them to appear iridescent green or purple.
Broods are usually reared twice between April and May (although this can extend to June and July depending on the weather), and usually consists of 4-6eggs. Young starlings will not leave the nest for about 3 weeks.
Although the starlings will flock in large numbers to cities, it is considered a pest of agricultural crops, as the concentration of droppings from a flock can cause pathogenic fungi. This can be harmful and even fatal to humans.
House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus)
At 15cm in length, the adult male house sparrow is identified by the black throat ‘Bib’ and grey crown on their head, whilst the females are mostly plain brown. Living for up to four to seven years, the house sparrow can have up to five breeding seasons that run through the spring and summer. During this time up to three broods of 4-6 eggs may be laid.
House sparrows use the same nest from year to year, which results in a build-up of nest debris and insects associated with their nest. Their droppings and also the damage they can do to packaged goods results in a high risk of contamination for the food industry.
Only a small number of gulls can be recognised as pest birds despite the fact that there are several different species of gull. These, pest breeds are identified as: The Greater Black Backed Gull, The Lesser Black Backed Gull and the Herring Gull. Due to seasonal variations in their plumage, identification of species can be difficult.
With 3 eggs in each clutch, Gulls only produce one brood per year. Before flight, young birds spend 25days in incubation, followed by 35-42 days in the nest. Being able to feed on all types of food, gulls are omnivorous and feed away from their roosting sites which are commonly on cliffs and buildings.Birds can affect homes and offices by spreading lice and mites. By penetrating the skin, mites can cause an itchy rash, while their bird droppings are very slippery and can cause a slip and fall hazard. Due to the acidic nature of the droppings, buildings and footpaths can be defaced.
APM can carry out all types of bird proofing on your work premises or in your home. There are numerous bird control methods and the team at APM are happy to discuss the best solution to suit your individual needs.