March is the high time to prevent spring and summer conflicts with birds nesting in buildings


Kaisa Viira
bird nest
pixundfertig. Pixabay

Birds will soon start choosing suitable nesting sites. The Environmental Board recommends that homeowners and apartment associations check and, if necessary, prevent birds from accessing possible nesting sites in buildings.


The breeding season is the most important and sensitive time in nature. Disturbing birds and other animals at this time is unethical and prohibited by law.


"Birds are a natural part of nature. If the owner of the house has had conflicts with nesting birds in previous years, now it is wise to inspect the buildings before the start of the larger breeding season. In spring, the roofs, eaves, and openings, attics, spaces behind the lining, balconies, as well as storage areas, unfinished buildings, and other places often used by people should be maintained and, if necessary, prevent birds from gaining access to them. It is already late to do it in the breeding season," said Tõnu Talvi, the chief specialist of Nature Conservation of the Environmental Board.


Many species of birds living in settlements are human companions whose nesting sites are associated with buildings. For example, western jackdaws can build their nest in ventilation systems; sparrows or European pied flycatchers can do it between the lining of the house. Pigeons often nest on the cornices of buildings, whereas gulls nest on the roofs.


It is interesting to observe the life of birds nesting in settlements. At the same time, the Environmental Board has received reports every year of gulls and crows attacking people to protect their chicks. "People can also be disturbed if the nestlings defecate in the immediate vicinity of the nest or cadging for food noisily early in the morning. Such problems hit homeowners in May or June. If you want to prevent them, it is right to act right now, before the start of the main breeding season," said Tõnu Talvi, the chief specialist of nature conservation of the Environmental Board.


Many species are attracted to nest near humans by easily available food. "Simple feeding options significantly increase the number of crows, western jackdaws, and gulls and the likelihood of nesting close to humans. Therefore, it is reasonable to avoid easy opportunities for birds to find food near our homes - not to feed the city birds, cover the compost piles, and use closed rubbish bins," Tõnu Talvi admitted.


Practical advice:

  • Cover with mesh or repair any openings and holes in the eaves and elsewhere. 
  • Keep your roofs free of debris and other possible nesting material. Avoid keeping unnecessary objects on the flat roof and balcony. 
  • If necessary, use suitable repellents, such as images of birds of prey, kites hovering on rods, balls reminiscent of the eye, and so on.
  • Install nest boxes in suitable places in the vicinity. See the instructions of the Estonian Ornithological Society .
  • Interference with the natural life cycle of nature should be kept to a minimum - intervention is justified in extreme cases, for example, to protect human property and health.

Homeowners and apartment associations also have an important role to play in planning the renovation and repair of buildings in a timely manner. If you have any questions regarding inhabitants of nature before the works, contact the Environmental Board as soon as possible at This will prevent situations where work planned for spring or summer has to be postponed for some time due to bird nesting.


Additional information: 
Tõnu Talvi 
Chief Specialist of Nature Conservation of the Environmental Board 
501 6869



News by: Environmental Board