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Name: D. C.
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Tuesday, May 07, 2002

After a bird and the babies have left a do you preserve/clean the nest so that it may displayed inside my home without fear of pests?

How long should I wait to take the nest after the babies have left the nest?


This is a tough question to answer for two reasons; 1) Since many years ago, I had a Federal permit to study birds, and even with a license, i never would take a nest, this means it is illegal, 2) several birds will return to the same nest for raising an additional brood or two in a season. Therefore, I would not recommend taking any nest. If you do because you live outside the US, wait until fall. Most nests are fragile so cleaning them will probably destroy them. Some cultures will cook a bird's nest as part of soup ingredients. Since we do not know where you are located, if this is your intent, boil it well!

Steve Sample

IT IS ILLEGAL TO COLLECT NESTS, EGGS, FEATHERS OR ANY OTHER PARTS OF BIRDS WITHOUT A SPECIAL PERMIT FROM THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE. Even though you may be sure the birds have left the nest, and it is true that most small birds do not re-use old nests, this is a blanket provision of the International Migratory Bird laws and treaties, to protect all native birds from collecting. The prohibition on collecting nests comes from the practice once very popular of collecting nests with eggs still in them for private "museums." While this is no longer a common practice there is still a danger of collecting that will harm bird populations.

J. Elliott

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