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How To Keep Birds Out Of Trees (For Good)

birds perched on a tree branch

Birds are captivating creatures that bring joy and beauty to our surroundings.


While it's essential to appreciate the beauty and value of birds, it's equally important to find a balance that ensures the well-being of both humans and wildlife.

In this article, we will delve into the reasons why deterring birds from nesting in trees may be necessary and provide practical solutions that prioritize both bird conservation and property preservation.

Join us on this informative journey as we explore effective and ethical approaches when it comes to how to keep birds out of trees.

5 Strategies On How To Keep Birds Out Of Trees

1. Visual Deterrents

One way to discourage nuisance birds from landing or nesting in your trees is by utilizing visual deterrents. These methods aim to create a visual environment that birds find unappealing or threatening.


Traditional scarecrows, featuring human-like figures, are effective bird deterrents that prevent them from landing in your trees. Place them strategically, moving them occasionally to prevent birds from becoming accustomed to their presence.

Reflective Objects

Hang reflective and shiny objects such as aluminum foil strips, old CDs, or shiny tape from branches. The sunlight reflecting off these surfaces can startle birds, causing them to avoid the area.

Predator Decoys That Will Scare Birds

Placing decoy predator birds, such as a plastic hawk or owl decoy, in or near your trees can help deter birds. Birds will perceive the predator decoys as a threat, reducing their willingness to land or nest nearby. Move them regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

2. Auditory Deterrents

Using sound-based deterrents can help in preventing birds from roosting on trees. Birds rely on their hearing to detect potential threats, so employing auditory deterrents can disrupt their comfort and discourage them from settling in your trees.

Bird Distress Calls

Recordings of distress calls or predator sounds can be broadcasted using speakers or specialized devices. These sounds mimic bird distress signals and alert other birds of potential danger, causing them to avoid the area.

Wind Chimes And Other Noise-Making Devices

Hanging wind chimes or using noise-making devices that produce intermittent sounds can create an unpredictable soundscape that discourages birds. The varying noises prevent them from habituating to a specific sound and make the area less inviting.

3. Physical Barriers

Physical barriers can be an effective long-term solution to protect your trees from bird intrusion. These barriers physically prevent birds from accessing the tree or its branches.

Bird Netting

Install bird netting over your trees to prevent birds from landing or accessing the branches. Ensure that the netting is properly secured and does not entangle any birds unintentionally.

Wire or Spikes On Tree Branches

Attach thin wires or spikes to the branches to make it uncomfortable or impossible for birds to perch or nest. 

Ensure that these methods comply with local regulations and do not harm the birds.

4. Repellents

The best bird repellents work by creating unpleasant or irritating sensations for birds, deterring them from your trees. You can even go high-tech with an ultrasonic bird repellent.

Moving Repellents

Hang objects that move in the wind, such as pinwheels or streamers, around your trees. The movement and noise can discourage birds from approaching.

Taste and Odor Repellents (Do Not Use On Fruit trees)

Apply bird-repellent sprays or sticky substances to the tree branches. These products have tastes or smell that birds find unpleasant, discouraging them from perching or roosting.

Avoid using deterrents like these on fruit trees as they can lead to food contamination, abnormal growth, or a stunted abundance.

5. Habitat Modification 

Modifying the environment around your trees can make them less attractive to birds. By altering factors like food availability (removing or relocating your bird feeder), water sources, and nesting opportunities, you can discourage birds from frequenting your trees.

Birds are heavily attracted to fruit trees, especially the berries and seeds on them. Regularly pick up fallen fruits or install bird feeders away from your trees to divert their attention.

If you don't know where to start, it's always a good idea to seek professional help from bird control companies.

5 Bird Species That Nest In Trees (With Effective Deterrents)

  1. American Robin (Turdus migratorius): Robins can be deterred by installing visual deterrents like reflective tape or windsocks near the trees. Netting can also be used to cover the trees temporarily during the nesting season.
  2. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): To deter local birds like House Sparrows, minimize potential nesting sites by sealing any openings or gaps in buildings. Avoid providing food sources that may attract them, and consider using specific nest box designs that discourage House Sparrow occupancy.
  3. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis): Cardinals are less likely to nest in heavily pruned or trimmed trees. Regular tree maintenance, including pruning branches that are close together, can discourage nesting.
  4. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura): Doves are less likely to nest in trees with a dense canopy. Pruning the trees to allow more light and airflow can make them appear open to natural predators.
  5. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata): Blue Jays can be deterred by using visual scare devices, such as fake predators or reflective objects. Hanging wind chimes or using motion-activated sprinklers near the trees can also repel birds from nesting.

Why Discourage Birds from Nesting in Trees?

Birds are beautiful creatures that add charm and liveliness to our surroundings. However, allowing birds to hang or nest in trees without considering the potential consequences can lead to various challenges.

While respecting and protecting wildlife is important, there are valid reasons to keep birds out of trees.

Health and Hygiene Concerns

Allowing birds to nest in trees can lead to health and hygiene issues.

Birds' droppings are acidic and can damage the tree's foliage and overall health. 

Accumulated droppings may also harbor parasites, bacteria, and fungi that can affect both the tree's well-being and human health.

Furthermore, the presence of birds and their droppings can create unsightly messes, making it challenging to maintain a clean and inviting outdoor environment.

Garden and Crop Protection 

Birds nesting in trees may also pose a threat to gardens and crops. Some bird species, such as starlings or crows, can cause significant damage as they eat fruit, vegetables, or newly sprouted seedlings from your backyard.

Protecting trees from bird nesting can help safeguard the yield of your garden or agricultural crops, minimizing potential losses and the need for extensive pest control measures.

Property and Structural Damage 

Bird nests can cause damage to trees, especially when they are built in large numbers. The weight of nests, accumulation of droppings, and constant activity of birds can weaken branches, leading to potential breakage.

This can pose safety risks, especially during storms or high winds. Additionally, birds may displace tree bark or peck at tree trunks, causing long-term harm.

pigeons on the roof

In urban or suburban areas, birds nesting in trees close to buildings or structures can create structural issues.

Bird droppings contain uric acid, which can erode metal surfaces, including roofs, gutters, and vehicles parked beneath trees. The acidic nature of droppings can deteriorate paint, leading to costly repairs or maintenance.

Taking the necessary actions to keep birds from nesting in trees near structures can help prevent such damage and preserve the aesthetics and structural integrity of your property.

Wildlife Management

Managing bird populations is essential for ecological balance and the well-being of other wildlife species.

When birds overly concentrate in an area due to abundant nesting sites, it can disrupt natural ecosystems. Predators that rely on birds as a food source may become scarce, while an imbalance in insect populations can occur due to decreased predation.

When we keep birds in their natural habitats, we contribute to a more sustainable wildlife management approach.

Read Also: How To Prevent Birds From Nesting

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it safe to use a bird repellent or deterrent?

A bird repellent and deterrent should generally be safe for both humans and birds.

However, it's important to choose ingredients and products specifically designed for bird control, avoid toxic substances, and follow guidelines provided by the manufacturers to ensure their safe and effective use.

What are some safe ways to keep birds away from trees?

Providing alternative food sources, such as various types of bird feeders away from trees, can also redirect bird activity while maintaining a positive relationship with nature.

How can I prevent birds from nesting in trees?

Prevent birds from nesting in trees by using visual deterrents, auditory solutions, physical barriers, repellents, and habitat modifications.

The Endpoint

Keeping birds away from your trees requires a combination of strategies that make the environment less appealing for them.

By employing visual deterrents, auditory deterrents, physical barriers, repellents, and habitat modifications, you can significantly reduce bird activity in your trees and protect your property.

Remember to periodically change tactics to prevent birds from adapting to your deterrents. Respect local regulations and ensure that your chosen methods do not cause harm to the birds.

With persistence and a comprehensive approach, you can successfully deter birds from nesting or roosting in your trees.

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