Sparrows Nesting Under The Roof: How To Gently Drive Them Away?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:56 pm

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Sparrows are fascinating birds that many people enjoy. However, the animals can also be quite annoying – especially if they nest directly under the roof. However, getting rid of them is not that easy. Under no circumstances should you simply destroy the nest. Fortunately, there are alternatives. With a little patience and finesse, the house sparrow can be gently chased away in other ways.

Problem situation
Passer domesticus, the common house sparrow, is today acutely endangered in its population. It is already on an early warning list for endangered species. Every pair of nesting sparrows should therefore be welcomed. The only problem is that, as a typical cultural succession, the animals settle close to humans and raise their offspring. With a certain preference, they use eaves, wall openings or even cavities in an exterior wall for this purpose. Moreover, because a pair of sparrows rarely comes alone, but usually quickly forms a whole colony, the birds easily become an annoying nuisance. Their droppings can also cause considerable damage


Sparrows Nesting Under The Roof: How To Gently Drive Them Away?

Sparrows are niche and cavity breeders. As far as the location of their nest is concerned, they show enormous flexibility. However, they prefer to use protected cavities – especially if they are located directly under a protective eaves. It is therefore a good idea to close all existing openings in a house wall. Loose roof tiles should also be reattached. The point is simply to make one’s house as uninviting as possible to the birds. This is always better than having to drive them away again later.

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Remove the nest?
If it nevertheless happened that sparrows nest under the eaves or in a cavity, one could of course come up with the idea of simply removing the nest(s). However, this is strongly discouraged. Since sparrows are on the forewarned list for endangered species, they enjoy increased protection throughout Europe. A sparrow’s nest may not be removed without permission. The responsible authority is usually the lower nature conservation authority of the city or district. If a nest is to be removed, it is essential to consult with the authority. This is generally possible if

the infestation of sparrows is very large,
there is a risk of danger from droppings for children, the elderly and the sick,
or considerable damage to the building is to be expected.
The best thing to do is to present the facts of the case to the authorities by telephone or in writing. However, the procedure varies from state to state. Permission can often be granted verbally. If you fail to notify the authorities and are discovered, you could face fines. In Bavaria, for example, 75 euros are due per removed sparrow nest. Nests that contain eggs or young animals may not be removed or destroyed.

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Scaring away
Fortunately, sparrows can also be driven away relatively gently. However, it should be understood that none of the possible methods provides one hundred percent protection. If they do work, it is always for a limited time. It is therefore advisable to use different methods alternately.

Reflective hangers

A very widespread and particularly cheap method of sparrow repellent are reflective hangers and bird bands. They work similarly to wind chimes and are placed wherever sparrows would at least theoretically settle, as for example under the roof. The important thing here is the reflective effect, which irritates and deters the animals. However, every house sparrow will get used to these hangers sooner or later. Therefore, they should be moved regularly to avoid this habituation effect.

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Bird dummies

Sparrows also have natural enemies that they try to avoid. These include birds of prey and crows. Passer domesticus will avoid contact with them in any case. You can take advantage of this fact and hang special bird dummies on the eaves. These scarecrows of a different kind can be bought in garden stores. They usually imitate the silhouettes of birds of prey and deter sparrows relatively reliably. However, their location must be changed from time to time.

Electric bird repellers

The so-called electric bird repellers are devices that emit certain bird sounds and, above all, fear cries of birds. The sparrows take this as a warning and run away. Such a bird repellent can also be used to cover a larger area with sound. However, the effect is highly controversial. In addition, the devices are relatively expensive. It is quite possible to spend a lot of money and hardly achieve any effect.

Basically, it is a positive sign if you have the house sparrow in your garden. It shows that many things are still in order in it. So one could be happy about the animals. Nevertheless, they are often perceived as a real nuisance. Yes, these birds are often annoying and make a lot of mess. There is also no question that they can cause damage. However, with a little good will, peaceful coexistence with them is possible. Since their natural habitat is becoming smaller and smaller, this is also an important contribution to species conservation.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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