Birds are incredibly resourceful, which is why you often see pigeons, seagulls, and other bird species roosting in urban areas.

Whether it’s a window ledge, on the roof, or under the eaves of buildings, birds finding shelter in commercial and residential areas is a common sight. However, one popular nesting spot that often goes overlooked is gutters.

Gutters are vital to any building, but as leaves and other debris build up, they can inadvertently become the perfect nesting spot for birds seeking shelter.

In this article, we’ll be answering the question ‘do birds nest in gutters?’ as well as explore the reasons birds choose to nest there.

We’ll discuss too how you can prevent a nest and protect your drains.

Should you remove the nest?

Removing a bird’s nest in the UK is not a simple process.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states wild birds are protected and usually cannot be killed or taken except under licence. As a result, you must not intentionally kill, injure, or take any wild bird or its eggs, or take or damage the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.

This means that if a nest is still active, it’s illegal to remove it. With that in mind, it’s essential to be certain a nest is no longer in use and that it’s removed outside of the breeding season as nests are used multiple times.

We always recommend accessing the knowledge and expertise of the team at Urban Hawks because as we can assist in removing a nest in your gutter safely and legally.

Although a nest may look empty, bird species like pigeons can have more than one brood in the same nest all year round.

How to safely get rid of a bird’s nest

While we always recommend employing the help of a professional team, if you have determined that you are legally within your rights to remove a nest, it’s crucial to take every safety precaution.

Assess the nest

Before taking any action, you must observe a nest to check for signs of activity. You may proceed if you are sure it’s no longer in use.


Wear protective gloves and a mask to minimise exposure and direct contact with a nest and other debris. Not only may it contain sharp items, but there could also be dangerous bacteria and parasites.


If a nest is stuck in the gutter, use tools such as a broom to dislodge the debris so it can be carefully removed. Dispose of the nest in a sealed bag to prevent the spread of any bacteria.

Clean the gutter


Once you’ve removed the nest, thoroughly clean the gutter by hosing it down to ensure proper water flow. Make sure to remove any remaining debris or leaves that could cause future blockage.

Preventing a nest

The best way to stop birds from nesting in your gutter is to take preventative action.

We highly recommend all of our customers take preventative measures including:


One of the best preventative measures is to schedule regular gutter maintenance to remove any dirt, leaves, or other debris. Being proactive with your maintenance can help prevent birds from being attracted to your gutters and establishing a nest.

Gutter guards

Gutter guards are frequently installed as a safe and effective barrier to prevent birds from accessing your gutters. Not only do they help to keep your gutters clear, but they also discourage birds from nesting.


Bird deterrents are incredibly effective in keeping birds away from your site, and we frequently assist customers by installing the most appropriate deterrents for their property. Audio visual devices, falcons, bird spikes, and netting can all discourage birds from nesting in specific areas such as gutters.

Reduce access to materials

Birds will often use anything from leaves, branches, mud and feathers to create their nests. As a result, we always recommend customers should trim trees and branches surrounding the property to reduce the likelihood of birds finding materials to use.

Protecting your drains

Now that we’ve addressed ways that you can prevent birds from nesting in your gutters, the next step is to protect your drains from the potential damage caused by nesting.

Here, we’ve put together some tips to keep your drains working efficiently:

Inspect your drains

Regularly inspecting your drain system will help identify, and quickly address, any issues caused by nesting activity.

Check the water flow

If you have noticed that your gutters are draining more slowly than usual, or come across any blockages, it is essential to address the problem as soon as possible to prevent water damage to your property.


If you notice any leaks from your gutter system, it’s important to repair the damage immediately. Ignoring these problems can only lead to more serious issues in the future.

Hire a professional

Often, the best way to protect your drains is to employ the help of a professional gutter cleaning service or, if there are nesting birds, a bird control expert, as they can provide comprehensive solutions tailored to your specific situation.

Are there birds nesting in your gutter?

Birds do indeed nest in gutters, and while it may seem harmless, it can lead to more serious issues for the safety and structural integrity of your property. It’s essential to be aware of the issues nesting birds can pose to your gutter system so you can make informed decisions on what steps to take.  If you have concerns about birds nesting in your gutter system, or in other areas on your property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts at Urban Hawks  We have helped countless clients across the UK with bird control solutions, bird-proofing their sites and removing pest birds from the area.

To learn more about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today by dialling 0151 345 6854 or send an email