Mockingbirds are a very common species in certain areas of the world, but they’re not necessarily welcome in the areas they frequent.
They’re considered to be one of the peskiest birds you can have because they make a huge amount of noise and tend to attack people who get too close to their nests.
This is why many people want to get rid of them in any way possible, but there are a few things you need to know.
While you can’t remove or disturb a bird’s nest legally, and you want to keep a healthy distance when you try to remove them because they can detect threats.
However, water guns, lights, loud noises, owl decoys, and more can all help you get rid of mockingbirds.
You may have to employ more than one method if you have a particularly stubborn bird on your hands.
Anyone who has a mockingbird problem can use this handy guide to find out more about them in general, why you shouldn’t try an up-close removal method and several ways for you to get rid of them once and for all so you can have some peace and quiet in your yard.
It’s Not Legal to Disturb or Remove a Mockingbird’s Nest
There are restrictions in place that you have to work around when it comes to the nests these birds make because they’re one of the many birds that Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects.
This means that you’re not legally allowed to capture mockingbirds, kill them, trade them, sell them, or transport them.
You’re also not supposed to try and remove or disturb one of their nests, or you could open the door for legal problems.
However, it’s important to note that it’s not illegal to protect yourself from an attack or take steps to make the birds less of an issue.
So, even if it’s not possible for you to get rid of mockingbirds directly in your area, there are a few things you can do to make it not such a nice place for them to live to encourage them to move on.
Mockingbirds Are Great at Detecting Threats
This bird has an almost supernatural ability to detect threats, and they’re excellent at picking out any humans or animals that present the greatest threat to them.
In turn, they’ll have a natural instinct to attack these people or animals to try and protect themselves.
If you get too close to this bird with a deterrent in your hand, they could go on the offensive and attack you because they get agitated.
Getting attacked by one of these birds won’t kill you, but this doesn’t mean that it couldn’t hurt you.
You want to stay away from their nesting area since they’re so territorial because they can be on you and attack you before you even realize they’re coming.
How to Get Rid of Mockingbirds
As we mentioned, you can’t do anything that will kill or injure the birds, nor can you trap and manually remove them.
So, you want to make it uncomfortable for them to live in your yard because this can cause them to move on.
You should try the following to see if any have the desired effect on your mockingbird problem.
1. Break Out the Water Guns
Water guns work very well to scare mockingbirds away, especially during mating season from March to August, where the birds are more aggressive and territorial.
If the birds get too close or start attacking, you’re going to want to have a stronger water gun on hand to use. You can purchase them relatively easily, and they shoot a jet of water with an impressive velocity.
If you’re a decent shot, it shouldn’t be that challenging to hit your mockingbird with a stream of water, and this can cause the bird to retreat.
It works well to save yourself from dive-bomb-style attacks, and you can also utilize a water hose if you’re by it. However, it’s easier to carry a water gun when you’re out and about in your yard.
You should make a point not to pick fights with the birds due to their aggressive nature and only use the water gun if the bird starts coming at you.
2. Carry a Flashlight
If carrying around a water gun when you outside seem too silly, you can carry a flashlight because it’s less unobtrusive.
The flashlight will help you see the birds flying around after dusk, and it can also act as a bright deterrent if they start diving at you.
Another option you have available is to install an outdoor light or two on your property to help you see the birds.
This is especially important if you know that the birds are nesting on your property because they’re more prone to perform sneak attacks.
Lights give you a better chance of seeing the birds coming, and you can either retreat or aim your water gun and spray them before they get to you.
3. Put up an Owl Decoy
If you want to keep the birds away from a specific area on your property, you can try installing an owl decoy.
Although you can’t legally remove the mockingbird nest, you can also discourage them from nesting there in the first place.
Setting up a few owl decoys around your property can stop the birds from getting comfortable in this area.
If you’re someone who lives in a bigger plot of land, you’ll typically put your decoys up in the area that is closest to the house and free from mockingbirds.
Set a few up to form a perimeter to stop the birds from nesting around areas of your property you use the most. If you have a barn, you’ll want to dot it with decoys to keep them out.
Even though owl decoys are inexpensive, you can use them for scaring away a host of different birds.
It will do a very good job at keeping pigeons at bay as well as mockingbirds, and this makes a great preventative method too.
It can help scare the birds away before they ever get comfortable, and this removes a lot of the headache for you later down the road.
4. Consider Using Loud Noises
If the birds are starting to dive at you when you go outside, you can use loud noises to deter them. Birds can get scared very easily when there is an unexpected loud noise, so it can stop the attack.
When the birds are very aggressive, you could use incredibly loud music to deter them from coming by you. Another option you have available is to bang pots and pans when you go outside.
Since it may not always be possible to know which loud sounds work and have something that produces it on hand, just know that really loud noises will be effective.
If the bird is in the middle of attacking you, the best thing you can do is try to get away from them.
Yelling and being generally noisy could make the bird go away faster, but it’s not possible to say if this will be 100% effective at the moment.
You aren’t allowed to harm the bird, so don’t try to bat them away. It’s normal to lash out at something that is attacking you, but you’d be in deep legal trouble if you managed to hit it and injure or kill it, even if it was an accident.
5. Regularly Prune Your Trees
Keeping your trees neatly trimmed and pruned is a good idea if you’re trying to make it less perfect for mockingbird nests.
If you prune the trees really well and regularly, you’ll get rid of spots for the birds to nest or hide.
You could try to remove specific branches ahead of time if you’re worried, or you could even remove whole trees. However, this is a drastic step to take.
If you don’t have time to trim the trees on your own, you can always call a company in to do it for you, and they can come back every few months to keep new growth contained.
Pick up any brush or sticks on the ground as well because leaving fewer things on the ground that the birds can pick up and use in their nests will make them look for other places to nest.
6. Ultrasonic Deterrents
The final way to get rid of mockingbirds is to try an ultrasonic bird deterrent, but it could be illegal if the birds already have nested on your property.
However, if you’re in the clean, these deterrents can work very well to scare the birds several hundred feet away from your house.
They’re also very reasonably priced, and the most popular options use solar power to run, so that eliminates the need to run cords for electricity or worry about batteries.
These six ways to get rid of mockingbirds can slowly clear the birds off of your property without injuring or killing them.
Do check into your local laws and regulations before you do anything about the birds, though. Doing so can keep you in the clear and give you a little peace when you go outside.