Birds are protected in a number of ways, these include breeding sites, wintering sites or species specific protection. Survey types are detailed below so you can see what you may require. If you can’t decide which survey type you need simply get in touch with us.
All wild birds, their eggs and nests are protected. Some bird species such as barn owl and kingfisher receive additional protection from disturbance while breeding. The legislation covering this protection is:
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)
In addition to the protection birds receive while breeding, the UK hosts a large number of Special Protection Areas (SPAs). These sites receive strict protection to maintain the network of European protected sites and can require detailed consideration in any ecological assessment.
- The Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations 2010
When do I need to get in touch?
Birds breed, forage and roost in a variety of habitats and structures, a sites potential to support birds is down to the presence of these habitats on a given site. Many birds are migratory and therefore can breed at different periods of the year. The potential for a site to support important or notable populations of birds is usually identified within a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal / Phase 1 Survey. If the site includes habitats which support bird species then it is likely that a survey or even a range of bird surveys will be required.
To prevent delays in your project it’s important to get in touch as early as possible as the presence of important or notable populations of birds or can be highly seasonal with different habitats being important at different times in the year.
How can EcoNorth help me?
We advise you on bird protection and your options. We undertake all types of bird surveys, licencing and mitigation. We apply best practice guidelines along with our in depth knowledge of bird species, habitat requirements and present the results in detailed professional reports to inform and support your project’s planning application or other consenting process.
Types of bird survey EcoNorth undertake include:
- Breeding Bird Survey: Often required as part of any ecological appraisal these are typically spread across the breeding season between April and July.
- Breeding Bird Checking Survey: Applied when it is necessary to remove potential nesting habitat within the breeding season and involves a detailed check of vegetation to ensure that no active nests are present.
- Wintering Bird Survey: Required at locations with habitats capable of supporting aggregations of wintering species including coastal areas, wetlands or areas in close proximity to sites designated for wintering or migratory birds.
- Vantage Point (VP) Surveys: Most commonly used for wind energy developments where there is a requirement to observe how birds are using a site or the air space above it.
- Species Specific Surveys: Which are required where rare or scarce species are thought to be present or those subject to more rigorous protection under the relevant legislation.
Whatever the requirements of your project EcoNorth can tailor individual or suites of bird surveys to fulfil any requirements of the planning or regulatory process.