Have you tried pepper? Regular house pepper - just follow the ants to the area they seem to claim home - take the pepper and shake about half the can over the top. Wait about 24 hours and they are gone. Hope this helps. I found this out when I had some workers in my back yard working on my pool. One of the workers got bitten and asked me for an ice cube and some pepper. I have found that this works so well I tell everyone.
borax water and sugar, mix and dip cotton balls in it and lay them around. Not alot of sugar just enough to get them on the cotton balls. Like a cup of water, a tsp of borax and a pinch of sugar.... they will get all over the balls and take back to the queen and they will all die. You can also google it. It has worked for us for yrs.....
My mom uses just equal parts borax and powdered sugar and tosses it where the ants seem to hang out. I believe this only works for sugar ants though. But if those are what you have it works really well!
You need to find the nesting points. Ants travel great distances for foraging. A compost pile may be the source of your issue or a rotted out tree trunk or pile of old firewood. In any case you need to figure out where they are coming from and address that issue there. While the mixes etc that people are suggesting may work, these are short term fixes that will stop working as soon as the bait gets wet.
If they are really bad, I would suggest that you hire a pro to find the nest and treat the area.
There are several products that you can spread on the ground to help remove these pests. Simply follow the instructions carefully on application and you will remove these pests fast.
my ant population was all but gone last summer, I think it worked for us anyhow. This summer I will put some balls around our perimeter. I will let you know how I made out this yr when they start to show up.
I am a little confused by your question what is the first part about birds and how does that come into play with the compost what exactly are the issues again.
Citrus smells confuse their sense of direction. Spray counters with lemon juice and water spray. Wipe essential lemon oil around doors and windows. Someone told me they come inside seeking water. I put a bowl of water outside on deck. It seemed to greatly reduce the ants in house. I saw them going to water bowl to drink.
Forgot to mention that they nest in barkdust..might want to use something else.