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Black Birds in a Spruce Tree

Arthella asks us about her bird problem....


I have black birds roosting in a blue spruce tree in my front yard.  Their
droppings make the front porch unsightly.  What can I do?

Arthella H.

And our Answer was...


Depending on how large the tree is, your best bet might be bird netting OVER the tree.  Of course, they might just move to another higher and bigger tree that you might not be able to net.  

You might also set up a water sprinkler to spray on the tree and then turn it on when the birds go to the tree.

Sometimes even a light bedsheet or toilet paper will keep away certain kinds of birds. This could look a little unsightly.

The netting is black so it's invisible at more that 15-20 feet.  There are many kinds available.  We sell bird netting too.  Just let me know.

Check locally for the netting, you can probably find it cheaper, if not, just let us know how much you need.

Don't waste any money buying "owls" or things like that.  Try using something you already have - if an owl is going to work, then an old toy teddy bear will work just as well.

You didn't mention what kind of bird this was (if you knew) or what part of the country (world?) you live in.  Certain birds at certain times of the year will seek out certain trees.  If this is the case, don't worry about it, they'll probably go away in a few days/weeks/months.

Hope this helps you.  And if you have any more questions, please fire away!


Then about 10 days later, she sent this....


Thanks for the information; I guess I left out a lot of important information. The tree is three times taller than my house, and I live in western Kansas.  I talked to a few friends and they told me to shoot at the birds with a BB gun. Since I am the high school librarian, I didn't want to do that.  It seems sort of undignified, but I finally tried it in desperation and it has worked pretty well. There were dozens or maybe hundreds of birds in the tree; now there are only about six.  I wonder if maybe they have eggs hatching or baby birds, because they sure are stubborn.

But I keep shooting at them everynight after they have settled in.  They
don't like that, and I think it's just a matter of time until they leave.

Anyway, I appreciate your advice.  If I ever have a smaller tree, I'll know what to do.


So I sent this message back to her

Hello again, Arthella:

Your tree sounds like a beautiful tree.  And western Kansas, I remember well, I used to live in St. Louis and traveled most of the midwest many, many years ago!

The pellet gun sounds terrific!  Sometimes all you need to do is disrupt them in some way.  I must admit, the thought of a high school librarian shooting at birds, out of her bedroom window in the dark of night makes me laugh.  Just don't tell anyone except your exterminator.

The stubborn birds may well be brooding females - they tend to stay with the nest.  If it's possible and not too high up, try to remove the nest and any occupants.  If you have a long pole you can do it from the ground.  I know it sounds kind of "mean-spirited" but you want to remember whose name is on the deed to your property!

Here is the problem:  If these are indeed brooding females, they can become the core population for more birds in the future.  So it is in your best interest to discourage any large number of birds (or any animal) from roosting or living on your property.  

I would say that you should continue with the pellet gun routine.  You don't even have to hit any, just make sure the pellet goes through vegetation so the birds hear it. Do this at night, in the dark, so they don't see you and connect your appearance at the window with the pellet gun.  And if you can't destroy the nests or you just don't want to do this part, that's okay, I understand.  But if they are back next year, you'll definitely want to reconsider that option!

Good luck, let me know how everything goes.


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