Every year, tens of thousands of birds across the United States are illegally killed. It happens when apartment maintenance crews pressure-wash barn swallow nests from building sides. It happens when home owners “clean up” nests on their porches. It happens when store owners clear out the nests on their signs.
Make no mistake: no matter what you’ve been told, no matter whether you own the property, killing migratory native birds is a federal crime that can land you in prison. And the law *is* enforced. All it takes is a neighbor or bystander making the call.
Migratory birds have a right to exist, to nest, and to raise their young, including on private property. The only exception to this law is when the bird is of a non-native species, such as a European starling or house sparrow. But unless you’re 100% certain about the identity of the nesting bird, this is not a chance worth taking.
If you see someone disturbing the nest of a native bird, please immediately report them to your local police or game wardens. Help keep our native wildlife safe.