Strategies for Effective Management of Bird Nests on Construction Sites

ecology workign dogs nesting birdsThe construction industry frequently deals with various challenges, one of which being the management of nesting birds on construction sites. The concern around bird nests is not just a matter of project workflow disruption but ties into the broader context of environmental conservation as well. It's crucial for decision-makers to understand the importance and strategies of effective bird nest management.

Understanding Protected Species

Before discussing the strategies, it's important to note that all wild bird species are protected by law in the UK. In fact, it is illegal to kill, injure, or destroy their nests, intentionally or recklessly. This legislation presents a unique challenge for construction sites that must balance project execution with wildlife conservation, especially when dealing with schedule 1 birds – these are offered additional levels of protection from disturbance.

Early Consultation and Planning

An essential first step in bird nest management is conducting a professional bird survey. Having early dialogues with ecologists, planning authorities, and bird control experts can highlight potential issues before they significantly impact the construction project.

These surveys identify potential bird habitats and issues that may arise during the construction process. It also helps construction companies understand the legislative challenges and potential methods to mitigate any related matters.

Implement Exclusion Measures

Sometimes, the best strategy involves deterrents. Operating outside the breeding season can greatly reduce the potential for conflict with nesting birds. When this is not possible, preventing access to certain areas using temporary or permanent barriers by ways of proofing can be an effective strategy.

Proactive Mitigation Approach

If it's not possible to avoid the nesting season (typically defined as March – September) and physical barriers prove to be impractical, mitigation programs can be a solution. The program includes the use of specially trained falcons and dogs to encourage ground nesting birds into alternate areas where they are more likely to be successful and not impacted by the development. 

Habitat Creation

In cases where mitigation isn't feasible, compensation measures step in. Creating alternative habitats or nesting places can effectively divert birds away from construction sites. This might involve installing bird boxes or creating appealing nesting grounds away from the site. Such compensation schemes ensure the bird populations remain unaffected while allowing constructions to progress uninterrupted.

Continuous Monitoring

Continuous monitoring is key to ensuring that any bird mitigation measures remain effective and adaptable. Quick response to bird behaviours and adjusting strategies as needed will promise the smooth progression of construction operations.


While the presence of bird nests on construction sites can present challenges, appropriate management strategies ensure projects remain on track without harm to the wildlife involved. By applying effective mitigation measures and working with professional bird control companies, construction professionals can protect their project's timeline and the environment.

At NBC Environment, we understand the importance bird nest mitigation for construction companies, our expert team can provide customised solutions tailored to your specific needs.

For further advice and information on nesting bird mitigation call us on 0333 567 2020, or contact us today.

Author: NBC Environment/Orkin

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