How to get a bird out of an attic

Updated March 23, 2017

Birds make interesting pets, but when your attic becomes a wild bird’s place of residence, removal is necessary. The noise and mess from nest construction are bothersome, and bird faeces can cause a range of diseases in humans, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis and cryptococcosis, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. To get a bird out of an attic, you must locate the point of entry, then humanely trap the bird alive so it can be safely released outdoors.

Enter your attic to find the place where the bird was able to get inside. Search for holes or other possible entry points.

Cover each potential point of entry with chicken wire. Measure the entry point and cut the mesh so it is at least 1 inch larger than the entry point on all sides. Secure the mesh firmly against the entry point, using the heavy-duty stapler. This prevents new animals from entering and may prevent the bird from leaving the attic.

Place some birdseed in a bowl; purchase seed recommended for the type of bird in your attic, if possible. Leave the bowl on the attic floor. Monitor the bird's consumption of the seed at least three times a day.

When the bird becomes comfortable eating the seed, refill the bowl and move it closer to the cage. Continue this process until you finally place the bowl inside the cage trap. Follow the manufacturer's directions for setting the live trap so the door will close when the bird ventures into the cage.

Remove the cage from your attic when the bird has been trapped. Place the cage in a safe location outside. Open the cage, step away, and wait for the bird to fly out.


Contact a professional if the cage trap is unsuccessful. Get in touch with the National Wildlife Control Operators Association, or consult a local business listing for industry professionals.


If the bird has young in a nest inside your attic, contact a professional to remove each bird. Trapping the parent can cause the young to starve. Contact your state regarding nesting protections. Some states impose penalties for disturbing nests. You may need to hire a professional to complete the entire process.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Heavy-duty stapler and staples
  • Birdseed
  • Bowl
  • Pigeon cage trap, or cage trap designed for birds
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About the Author

Peyton Brookes is a workforce development expert and has written professionally about technology, education and science since 2009. She spent several years developing technology and finance courses for social programs in the Washington, D.C. area. She studied computer and information science at the University of Maryland College Park.