The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Community Forum Removing a bird’s nest (empty) from door

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    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      judith.fraser
      We have a phoebe's nest on our cottage doorway. When the fledglings have left and we go to take it off, are there health considerations for the person doing this? Some internet sites suggest needing rubber gloves, use of an insecticide, etc. because of bird mites and other pest/hazards.
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    • Lee Ann van Leer
      Bird Academy
      LilacRoller
      There is value at leaving the nest there if possible as phoebes will actually re-use a nest, even for multiple years and it saves them energy resources if they don't have to build from scratch. Here is one link I found about phoebe nest advice: https://www.startribune.com/on-the-wing-phoebe-s-nest-may-need-pruning/168494206/ An interesting excerpt from our Birds of the World online site:  Old nests are frequently renovated and reused, both from year to year and for multiple broods within years. Additionally, old nests of other species, e.g., Barn Swallow and American Robin, are renovated and used. Reuse never occurs without some renovation (but see Klaas 1970, Weeks 1970), which usually involves addition of a new rim of moss and a new lining (usually about 5 mm thick). Within a single year, over 50% (as much as 78%) of old phoebe nests present prior to the nesting season are typically renovated and used at some time during the year. Reuse of nests may confer certain advantages and allow energetic tradeoffs. Klaas (Klaas 1970) and Weeks (Weeks 1978) suggested that energy savings from reuse of an old nest may be translated into production of larger clutches. Conrad and Robertson (Conrad and Robertson 1993a) challenged these conclusions and reported no differences in clutch size in new and reworked nests. If you want to give the phoebes an alternative spot to nest for the future our Nest Watch site has this info:   NestWatch info on nesting Eastern Phoebes If you want expert advice on removal precautions contact our Nest Watch team here. During the pandemic I suggest filling out the form as no one is at the office to answer the phone directly so responses by email are easier.  NestWatch contact page
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