There is a pair of barn swallows nesting above the door at my business. They have swooped down on customers a few times as they walk through the door. I’d really like these birds gone. Can I safely move the nest? What’s the best thing to do?
Swallows have a strong attachment to their nest site. If you remove the nest, they will try to rebuild in the same location. If you move the nest even a short distance, the bird may abandon the nest and anything in it. In general, from the time the bird begins sitting on its eggs until the young are ready to leave the nest, four weeks will pass. If you can afford to wait, that’s the best choice for the birds. Plus it is illegal to disturb the nests of birds protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Swallows usually return to the same nest location each year. To discourage nest construction in that location, install barriers made from plastic sheeting, vinyl strips or fine-mesh wire. These barriers should be installed before swallows arrive in the spring.