A recent call from a commercial client described hearing scrabbling noises in the ceiling of their single-story office. We initially suspected mice but a look outside and we saw this gap in the filler under the corrugated roof. They’d had all the roofing material replaced recently but, unfortunately, the hole seen in the image above was not filled in and a sparrow had decided this would be the perfect place to bring up their young!
Sparrows – in common with most wild birds – are rightfully protected with strict rules around disturbing them. Sure, they are making a little noise – but now the staff know what’s causing it they’re happy to live with it – and it’ll stop once the young have fledged and left the nest. There is also a slight risk of bird mite (a parasite common in wild birds) getting into the office but we can deal with that if it happens and the occupier is comfortable with that being a potential issue. Another problem often associated with birds nesting nearby is the mess they make: bird poo (‘lime’ or guano) is a health hazard but, in this case, the nest site is located a long way from the building entrances and pathways so, again, not sufficient risk to require any immediate action.
The solution to this one was therefore simple: explain what’s happening, explain the (minimal) risk and offer to return to make good the hole once the nesting season is over.