Nuisance birds

Many people enjoy interacting with wildlife and feeding birds. However, sometimes overfeeding birds can result in them occurring in large numbers, which can be very problematic.

Large numbers of birds can result in a substantial amount of bird droppings, which are unsightly and their acid corrodes stonework and damages buildings. Droppings on pavements can become slippery when wet and pose a hazard to passing pedestrians. Droppings, nest material and dead birds can block guttering and drains and cause water damage to buildings. 

The Council can use legislation to stop people overfeeding birds. If a large amount of rotting food accumulates, or the feeding is attracting rats or mice, the Council may be able to help. You may be asked to complete a diary form showing the extent of the problem and how it affects you.

Before contacting the Council it is recommended that you try approaching your neighbour to explain the problems that are being caused, and ask them to reduce the amount of food they provide in order to reduce the number of birds that are attracted. Excessive feeding can actually harm pigeons as it can cause overcrowding at feeding sites, and promote the spread of disease among birds.

Please note, it is illegal to kill any bird, or destroy their eggs or nests, without a government licence.

Please also remember that the Council does not provide a pest control service. 

If you feed birds in your garden please follow these guidelines:

  • Do not scatter food on the ground where it is an easy source of food for rodents.
  • Bird tables are often easily accessible to rodents. Do not overstock them or provide large quantities or unsuitable foods.
  • Use proprietary bird feeders with a catch tray to reduce debris falling on the ground.
  • Feeders should be sited with care. Suspending them from a metal wire is the only way to be certain rodents will not get into them.
  • Ideally, place small quantities in feeders daily to ensure they are emptied daily.
  • Do not use your garden as a dump for unwanted food waste, the birds may not want it either but rats and mice probably will.
  • Use guardian bird feeders to stop larger birds from eating the seeds.
  • If you are having a problem with rats and/or mice, remove the bird feeders from your garden before dusk each day.