Living with Wildlife: Birds

General Bird Issues

Common Issue – trapped inside a building

  • Birds tend to fly towards the light to escape, so turn off all the lights in the building, open the windows and exits and move away. They will probably leave on their own if given enough time.  Songbirds often try to escape by flying upwards, so opening skylights or high windows can be helpful.  Allow about an hour for the bird to leave before taking further action.
  • Use a long-handled, soft net (butterfly or shrimp net) to gently trap the bird against a window or wall (don’t try to catch it in mid air) then carefully use your hand to hold the bird in the net till you get outside and can open the net to let it fly off.
  • Owls are most active at night, so it is best to wait till dark to open all windows and doors and allow them to leave. If this is not possible, turn on lights inside the building to illuminate as much of it as possible, this may encourage them to head for open doors or windows.

Products for bird issues:

Sonic noise:
Sight: tangle tape ribbon
Scare: predator eyes
Decoy hawk:
Taste:  Migrate for agriculture: used on berries/grapes, can be used on food for human consumption
Touch: Ledge spikes & netting
Window Alerts: available at the Barking Bird on San Juan Island, at Skagit Wild Bird Supply in Mt Vernon, and at  

Specific Bird Issues

To learn about issues and solutions for a specific bird type, click on the photos below.