Arborvitae line my back fence and I want to remove them and replace them with fruit trees. However, a pair of scrub jays is nesting in the arborvitae. I am not in an imminent hurry, but how can I eventually remove the arbor vitae with minimal disruption to the jays?
Thank you for your question and your willingness to wait a bit! Once the scrub jay offspring have hatched, they only need 17-20 days to grow up, fledge, and become mobile to become independent of their nest. If you're seeing parent birds feeding young (bringing food in, taking droppings sacs out), then it should only be a matter of a couple more weeks. After that, assuming there are not other active nests in there, I think it will be fine to move along with your removal project.
Here is some more information on scrub jays.