It's no secret that most song birds nest in trees, as do other types of urban wildlife like squirrels. When you need to cut down a tree, no matter the reason, you will likely be removing the home of some animals. This isn't typically a concern for mature birds. They will simply relocate to another tree, either in your yard or nearby. The real concern is when there are eggs or babies in the tree. Further, in many cases it can even be illegal to disturb song birds when they are nesting. The following guide can help you get through your tree removal while disturbing as few birds as possible.
Choose the right time
Timing is everything. In most areas, birds nest in the spring and summer, with some birds raising new broods all the way into autumn. For this reason, late fall through winter is the best time for tree removal. There is very little chance that there will be active nests in your tree at this time. Generally, the only birds in the tree will be those that over-winter in your area, and they will be able to move to a new tree at the first sign of disturbance. Once the old tree is removed, put out some seed for these birds so they can replenish the energy they lost in the activity of fleeing the old tree.
Perform a nest survey
If you must remove during the nesting season, then you need to perform a nest survey before the scheduled removal date. To do this, monitor the tree from all sides for several days. Signs that there is a nest in your tree include concentrated areas of bird droppings in one area beneath the tree, mature birds flying to a single section of the tree repeatedly throughout the day, and the sound of quiet peeps at intervals. If you suspect there is a nest, then reschedule the removal or contact your local wildlife officer to request advice. In some cases, you may be able to have the nest moved if the tree is considered to be an eminent danger that requires immediate removal.
Working with a professional tree removal service is a good idea if you have concerns about the wildlife that calls your tree home. Many have arborist on staff that can help assess the tree and its inhabitants to determine the best plan of action when it comes to removal.