Birds are again a huge subject with many different types, and again we only cover the more common ones here. We do however control all birds which appear on the general licence from natural England. Birds can damage crops and buildings, their guano (excrement) is acidic and if left will even damage stone, when it dries and becomes dusty it can cause Ornithosis (a respiratory disease). Their nests can make perfect harbourage for insects and mites, if nests are in or too close to buildings infestation becomes a possibility.
Most common of which is the feral pigeon 31-34cm in length and 230-560g in weight. The feral pigeon likes to build its nest in sheltered well protected sites. Often found under bridges, in derelict property and in the lofts of houses and commercial buildings. Nests are untidy structures sometimes only made of a few twigs, but can also become quite large. If conditions are right they can breed throughout the year having around 7 broods. Eggs take 17-19 days to hatch and young become independent 30-37 days later. Pigeons eat about 50g a day; they each produce 12kg of guano per annum.
Herring gull and lesser black-back gull are probably the most common to cause problems. Associated with the coast gulls are now just as common inland. Now often found on or around landfill sites, sewage outlets and agricultural land, we also see them in urban areas where commercial food waste is present. Gulls can live for 25 years, size depends on type. Gulls start breeding at 5 years and takes place in April-May, an average of 3 eggs take 28-30 day to hatch. First flight around 10 days, but leaves nest after 5-6 weeks. Can cause problems for air traffic at airports.
21-22cm in length, feathers are blackish, green and purple iridescence, speckled. Starlings are not on general licence and are not considered pests. It should be considered illegal to control these birds unless a special licence has been obtained for health and safety reasons.
Rooks, Crows, Jackdaws and magpies all come under the crow family; Ravens however are protected. Rooks, Crows and magpies are an average length of 46cms, Jackdaws 33cms and ravens are 64cms.
Introduced in the 17th century Canada geese are herbivorous, mainly found around ponds, wetlands and lakes. They eat huge amounts of foliage; overgrazing and trampling can be a problem as can droppings, which can be unsightly as well as being a hygiene and slip hazard. Large nests are built close to water, they lay 5-7 eggs which take 28-30 days to hatch. The young remain flightless for 10 weeks. Large birds of 92-102cm