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Nesting bird check

Nesting Bird Checks

The active nests of all wild birds, whether common or rare, are protected by law, making it illegal to take, damage or destroy a nest, or to take or destroy the eggs. A nest is considered 'active' if it is in use or being built. 

The nesting season generally runs from March to August inclusive, but some birds, for example woodpigeon, will nest in any month of the year. Many birds will lay more than one clutch of eggs within the season.

Nests can be found in a variety of habitats: on ledges of urban buildings, on the ground in open meadows and arable land, and in trees, shrubs and hedgerows. Birds' nests are not always obvious, and can be found in unexpected places; many woodland birds nest on the ground, and some birds do not construct a nest at all, preferring to lay directly onto the ground or ledge.

Some birds, such as barn owls and many other birds of prey, receive a higher level of legal protection. These birds, known as 'Schedule 1' birds, as they are specifically named within Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), receive protection against disturbance when on or near the nest. Protection also extends to the dependent young of these birds, and chicks cannot be disturbed.

Staff at Durham Dales Ecology have carried out nesting bird checks on all manner of habitats and structures, from single trees and buildings to entire riversides, for example in preparation for the installation of the 'Northern Spire', a new £117m cable-stayed bridge, spanning the River Wear, in Sunderland City Centre.

Nesting bird check


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