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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3596
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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A bit over a month ago sparrows built a nest under my window

Customer Question

A bit over a month ago sparrows built a nest under my window air conditioner. I can see the sticks of the nest sticking out the sides beneath the AC. I've seen no activity except for a sparrow that comes daily, stands on the window ledge next to the entrance to the nest and squawks and squawks loudly for about 2 minutes without stopping. It's now hit 90 degrees in NYC and I desperately need to turn on the AC but I don't want to injure any baby birds that might be in the nest. What can I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. I appreciate the fact that you're concerned enough for the welfare of even a family of sparrows to ask this question! It's folks like you who have made my profession a true joy. From the time the eggs are laid until the fledglings leave the nest is approximately 6 weeks, so even if there were babies there, the chances are good they're already grown and gone. The one sparrow you mentioned sounds like it may have been one of the family who comes back looking for it's mom, dad and siblings. As long as you don't see fairly constant coming and going into the nest, you can be fairly sure the family is grown and left the nest. If no other activity is noted, feel free to enjoy the air-conditioner without guilt. Should you decide to remove the nest, be very careful. Northern bird mites are quite common and can infest you and your house very easily when the nest is disturbed. Wear long sleeves sealed closed with rubber bands, and long gloves which you should remove and disinfect immediately after using. Hopefully, your building maintenance guy will take care of it for you, but even then you may want to warn him and make sure he bags the nest and gets out of your apartment quickly. if you should have any further questions, please let me know.Kind regards, *****