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BirdTape on Windows, photo by Darius Zdziebkowski

Almost 100,000 people in five cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County call the Santa Monica Mountains home, as do countless plant and animal species. By setting boundaries between you and native critters, you can be a good neighbor.

Window Treatments

Make your windows more visible. Birds – from hawks to hummingbirds – can be seriously injured by flying into windows. Help keep bird populations up by keeping cats inside and dogs on leashes.

  • Hang a stained glass ornament or wind chimes
  • Place a decal on the window
  • During construction, tape an “X” on windows
  • Apply BirdTape 4″ apart vertically or 2″ apart horizontally

Fences and Hedges

Fences make good neighbors – and for local wildlife, good fences that allow critters to pass by make better neighbors. Be sure to meet local building requirements when installing a fence.

  • Provide flexible fencing, crawl space at the bottom, or space between slats
  • Consider alternatives to barbed wire and electric wire
  • Avoid using dense shrubs or hedges if you don’t want a family of critters to live in it, or be prepared to maintain it frequently

Setting Boundaries

  • Cover and secure all garbage cans and compost bins. Remove the source of temptation, rather than the animal itself.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside. This can create a dependency on humans and may cause conflicts between wildlife and people – or their domestic pets.
  • Eliminate access to the indoors by filling holes and mending screens.
  • After nesting season (July or later) – Reduce nesting and hiding spots by trimming dense landscaping back from buildings and foundations.
  • Monitor for animals – to see if a site is currently in use, sprinkle flour on surfaces and check for animal tracks in it for several days.
  • Remove piles of wood, brush, and rocks after any wild animals have finished nesting.


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