These birds, found in and around structures, are considered common pests in Ontario: sparrow, starling, and pigeon.
Pigeons are about 35 cm in length, grey in colour, and have black wings.
The female pigeons lay their eggs several times a year. They lay one or two eggs at a time, which are incubated for 20 days by both the male and female pigeons. The female feed their young with pigeon milk until the latter are 36 days old.
Pigeons nest on the high ledges of buildings, bridges and similar shelters.
Pigeons can carry serious diseases like salmonellosis, encephalitis, aspergillosis, and toxoplasmosis. Pigeons can also harbour fleas, ticks and mite, which can enter structures through the pigeon nest, and transmit diseases as well.
Pigeons feed primarily on seeds, grains, fruit, and insects.
Starlings are around 20 cm in length and black in colour.
The female starlings can lay up to two eggs at a time, which are incubated by both males and females for around twelve days.
Starlings nest in tree cavities, and any other holes in structures. Some starlings migrate south, others do not.
Some starlings carry serious diseases such as fowl cholera, Turkey blackhead, and Newcastle.
Starlings are also known to harbour bird louse, chicken louse, mite, which frequently enter the structure through the bird’s nest. These harboured pests can transmit diseases as well.
Starlings eat insects, seeds, and grains.
Sparrows are 15 cm in length. The male sparrows have grey crown, black throat, white cheeks, and a chestnut neck. Females are brown in colour.
The female sparrows lay their eggs three times a year. Each time, a female sparrow lays five eggs, which are incubated for 12 days by the female.
Sparrows nest in eaves, soffits, attics and awnings.
Sparrows can spread serious diseases such as the avian tuberculosis, fowl cholera, turkey blackhead, and Newcastle.
Sparrows also harbour chicken louse, and mite, which can infest structures through the bird’s nest. These pests can transmit diseases as well.
Sparrows feed on seeds.