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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

General wild bird control

Birds of all species are normally welcome in non-agricultural environments, as they are elsewhere. However, there are  occasions when they cause problems:

  • the accumulations of bird droppings can pose a risk to public safety and health
  • hygiene standards may be compromised in food premises
  • paths and walkways may become slippery and unsafe
  • birds may also sometimes act as a reservoir for disease

In deciding on the measures to take in response to such problems, it is important that all legal and practical implications are considered.

Bird species and problems

The species that most frequently cause problems are

  • feral pigeons
  • house sparrows
  • starlings

However, in certain coastal areas, herring and lesser blackbacked gulls can also be responsible for damage. Starling and house sparrow populations have declined significantly in the last few years and problems caused by these species are now less frequent. Occasionally, some species cause problems when they gain access to food premises, such as:

  • blackbirds
  • robins
  • wagtails

Management options

Management options fall into 3 broad categories:

  • environmental management
  • anti-roost and proofing measures
  • population control

Before deciding on a specific course of action, the extent and nature of the problem should be carefully considered:

  • the species and number of birds involved
  • the level and type of damage or problem being caused
  • the buildings, structures or areas which are affected
  • any specific limiting or influencing factors that may affect the action proposed

Legal aspects

All wild birds (with only 4 exceptions) and their eggs and nests are protected under the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021. The Law prohibits:

  • deliberate killing, injuring or taking of any protected bird
  • disturbing any protected bird occupying a nest
  • destruction of a nest while it is in use

The Law also prohibits the use of certain methods of killing or taking any wild birds whether they are a protected species or not.

The 4 species not protected are:

  • carrion crow
  • magpie
  • feral pigeon
  • wood pigeon


In some circumstances a licence may be issued to allow professional pest controllers to remove the nest, eggs or chicks in order to:

  • prevent serious damage to property
  • prevent the spread of disease
  • preserve public health or air safety

A licence will only be granted if there is no other solution to the problem, ie alternative non-lethal methods of control such as scaring and proofing have not been successful.

The control of wild birds through population reduction in urban areas is generally less effective than the removal of food sources or blocking off sites where birds perch or roost.  Proofing with blunt spikes, sprung wires and nets installed on buildings are effective in discouraging birds without harming them - providing the proofing is properly installed.

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