Now is the time to take action to save the lives of baby birds next spring. Trees and other plants around your home can provide important habitat for birds, but it’s best to do any remodeling while the occupants are away. The months of September through February are the best time to complete your tree and shrub maintenance as most birds will have completed their breeding cycles by this time.
Being proactive now can help save lives and headaches next spring when your plants are in growth mode and the bird breeding season is in full swing.
Before You Trim
- Be sure to examine the area carefully to make sure there are no active nests or roosts
- Check the ground for evidence of bird droppings which can indicate an active nest or preferred perch
- Listen for alarm calls from birds that might be defending their habitat and watch for birds taking flight from the area you plan to trim
- If you find an active nest, leave it be! Wait a while longer until the chicks have fledged and the birds have moved on before you trim your trees
- Keep an eye out for other wildlife! Many squirrels have their second litter in the fall, especially in September, so please always check nests and cavities for activity before doing any tree work
If you’re in coastal California, October through January is the safest time to trim trees and remove brush. Hummingbirds are actively nesting in February, sometimes as early as late December. It is also common for finches and mockingbirds to nest into September. This variability is why it is always important to check before you trim.
When you take action and trim your trees at this time of year, you are protecting the future generations of wild birds. Help spread the word by encouraging others to get their tree trimming done now too.
For more responsible tree trimming resources and advice, visit these websites: