Native Bird Nests are Legally Protected

We received a frustrating— and all-too-common— call yesterday. After barn swallows chose an apartment complex in Red Bank to raise their young, management hired a crew to pressure-wash the nests away, resulting in the deaths of many innocent baby birds. The few survivors were picked up by a caring tenant, who we referred to a songbird specialist.

Folks, this isn’t okay, and it happens all the time. Songbird populations all over the country are plumetting and we all have an obligation to do our part to prevent it. Sometimes that means growing a pair and dealing with some poop or unsightly nests for a few weeks while babies grow up.

Native birds are, at worst, a temporary inconvenience. Most people enjoy seeing and hearing birds and watching them raise their young. Aside from being cruel and illegal, killing a bunch of baby birds is also not a good way to keep your tenants happy. If you’re a landlord or business owner and have tenants or customers complaining about native bird nests, simply inform them that the nests are protected by federal law and that you’ll remove them when the babies have left the nests. No big deal!

We’re asking all of our supporters to help us protect native birds. If you know of a property owner or maintenance company that is destroying active native songbird nests or killing adult or baby birds, please report them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD or

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