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On the outside of my house I have at least one bird living in an air vent. I would rather that they lived somewhere else. I was thinking I could put some sort of netting over the vent when the bird does not seem to be around. My wife is concerned that there could be a bird's nest with eggs in there and does not want to leave the eggs to die. What is the best way to safely remove these birds without hurting them?

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Shove a cat into your air vent. –  Matthew Oct 9 '12 at 16:06
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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Go rent a shopvac, and gently suck them up. Then when you return the shopvac, they will safely place the birds outside of the business for no additional charge (as long as you don't tell them about it.)

Just kidding, if they have eggs right now then you will just have to wait. If they don't then there is a plethora of things you can do. The netting is fine, or remove the nest while it is away.

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Ha, you had me for a second. –  Hemm May 11 '11 at 19:50
    
If you remove the nest, make sure you put up the netting right away. If you don't you may find the bird has built a new nest, and you will have to remove that one as well. If there are eggs in the nest, wait until they leave (at the end of the season) before taking any action. –  Tester101 May 11 '11 at 20:31
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You may also want to determine the species, as some birds are protected and removing their nest could come with a fine. –  Tester101 May 11 '11 at 20:33
    
I ended up installing a bird guard over the air vent. All is well after a year with the bird guard. The tenants have successfully been evicted. –  BennyMcBenBen Oct 29 '12 at 0:24
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As far as I know, relocating the nest is not really an option for most species. Even coming into contact with the nest, which leaves your scent, can cause abandonment. You can always do more research on the specific species to see if it's known how they react.

If you try look for eggs, avoid touching not only the nest but the surrounding area in contact with the nest. A telescoping mirror is a good tool for this situation.

I'm with Tatton and just waiting it out. It adds some extra character to the house for a season, and the old nest makes for a cool souvenir.

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The human scent/abandonment business is an old wives' tail. Physically moving the eggs can alarm the mother birds if they notice the change. –  Doresoom May 11 '11 at 19:57
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hang up an artificial owl out there and no birds will come around.

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If the vent is high, take a ladder, unscrew the screws and take the nest out gently. If you think it's too dangerous, call an exterminator and ask him to do the job. Or if you have someone in your family that could do it, ask them.

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