Can You Disturb A Pigeon Nest? (Legalities + From The Bird’s View)

Pigeons can make nests almost anywhere, they are used to making nests in rock crevices and have no problem creating nests in urban and suburban areas, these birds are very adaptable.

If a pigeon builds its nest somewhere inconvenient for you, then you may wonder whether you can disturb the nest, or better yet, move it. This article looks into it. 

Can you disturb a pigeon nest?

Nests are where pigeons raise their young, keeping away from these structures is important if you want the baby pigeons inside to survive.

But, if you needed to, or, if you’re simply curious, you may wonder whether you can disturb a pigeon nest?


An active nest:

Whether or not it is legal or illegal to disturb a pigeon’s nest depends on the area that you’re in. Some countries have laws that protect these birds and their active nests.

Nests that have eggs, hatchlings, or brooding adults in them will likely be protected under the law in these countries. This makes majorly disturbing an active nest (eg: moving the nest) illegal.

If you do choose to move an active nest, in a country where the nests are protected, then you will likely face heavy fines. If there are no laws protecting pigeons, then disturbing an active nest is ok, this includes moving, or disposing of, an active nest. 

An inactive nest

An inactive nest is a nest that does not have any eggs in it and does not have any brooding adults or hatchlings in it.

It is perfectly legal to remove nests that are inactive, this is because these nests are not being used by pigeons, no birds will be affected if you disturb these nests.

Note: If pigeons are protected where you are, then you’d need to wait a few days before moving, or disturbing, what you think is an inactive nest.

The reason for this is that young birds that have just left the nest may come back after a couple of days. The birds will leave the nest, for good, after a few days of being back in the nest. You can disturb or remove the nest after this

From the bird’s view:

An active nest:

An active nest is a nest still being used by birds to raise their young. If this type of nest is disturbed a great deal, if the nest is moved, then the mother bird will abandon the nest.

Pigeons are deathly afraid of humans and other predators. If they realize that you’ve disturbed their nest, then they will abandon the nest, even if the nest still has hatchlings and eggs in it.

If this happens, then the eggs will die and the hatchlings will die too. Eggs and hatchlings cannot survive without their mothers. 

It is widely believed that pigeon parents will abandon their eggs if they are touched by a human because the birds will smell the scent of humans on the eggs, but this is not true. 

A human touching a pigeon’s eggs won’t have an effect on the parent pigeon, it will not realize that you’ve touched the eggs.

These birds cannot smell that you’ve touched their nest or eggs, pigeons can smell but they cannot smell the scent of humans on their eggs. 

An inactive nest:

Once a bird’s nest is used it becomes quite old and flimsy. Parent pigeons stop maintaining nests, and fly off to live elsewhere, once the hatchlings have left the nest. These nests are known as inactive nests.

Disturbing inactive nests is legal, you can remove them if you want or need to.

Inactive nests are sometimes used by new birds, or the same birds, but this is uncommon. Birds will do just fine if you disturb, or remove inactive nests from your property, bird’s aren’t attached to their old nests.

The birds will, more often than not, want to build new nests in new spaces where predators have likely not had time to spot the nest already. 

What to do if you accidentally disturb a bird’s nest?

If you accidentally touch pigeon eggs in a nest, disturb it, or move the nest a little, then you don’t have to worry, the bird won’t notice.

You do however need to quickly leave that area to make sure that the adult birds do not see you close to their nest.

If you’ve moved something, try to move it back so that the nest seems as though it was undisturbed. 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: How To Make Pigeon Nest Bowls,  How To Move A Pigeon Nest,  How To Get Rid Of A Pigeon Nest With Eggs,  Do Birds Eat Other Birds Babies?,  How To Stop Pigeons Nesting On Sky Dish

Can You Disturb A Pigeon Nest? (Legalities + From The Bird’s View)
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