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Bird Control Law – General Licence Schedules

The schedules below (as published by the RSPB) relate to the control of wild birds under the general licence terms and in adherence to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Remember that the killing of any birds or removal of bird nests or eggs is illegal and if done knowingly or unknowingly  it may mean that you will face prosecution.

Understanding the in’s and outs of bird control law can be complex and we recommend that you speak to one of our bird control experts for advice to safeguard you commercial activities.

For free advice or to arrange a free site survey talk to a member of your local NBC bird control team by calling 0333 567 2020 .

The Schedules

29 January 2009

Schedule 1 – Part I

Birds and their young, for which it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest.

  • Avocet
  • Bee-eater
  • Bittern
  • Bittern, little
  • Bluethroat
  • Brambling
  • Bunting, cirl
  • Bunting, Lapland
  • Bunting, snow
  • Buzzard, honey
  • Capercaillie (Scotland only)
  • Chough
  • Corncrake
  • Crake, spotted
  • Crossbills (all species)
  • Divers (all species)
  • Dotterel
  • Duck, long-tailed
  • Eagle, golden
  • Eagle, white-tailed
  • Falcon, gyr
  • Fieldfare
  • Firecrest
  • Garganey
  • Godwit, black-tailed
  • Goshawk
  • Grebe, black-necked
  • Grebe, Slavonian
  • Greenshank
  • Gull, little
  • Gull, Mediterranean
  • Harriers (all species)
  • Heron, purple
  • Hobby
  • Hoopoe
  • Kingfisher
  • Kite, red
  • Merlin
  • Oriole, golden
  • Osprey
  • Owl, barn
  • Owl, snowy
  • Peregrine
  • Petrel, Leach’s
  • Phalarope, red-necked
  • Plover, Kentish
  • Plover, little ringed
  • Quail, common
  • Redstart, black
  • Redwing
  • Rosefinch, scarlet
  • Ruff
  • Sandpiper, green
  • Sandpiper, purple
  • Sandpiper, wood
  • Scaup
  • Scoter, common
  • Scoter, velvet
  • Serin
  • Shorelark
  • Shrike, red-backed
  • Spoonbill
  • Stilt, black-winged
  • Stint, Temminck’s
  • Stone-curlew
  • Swan, Bewick’s
  • Swan, whooper
  • Tern, black
  • Tern, little
  • Tern, roseate
  • Tit, bearded
  • Tit, crested
  • Treecreeper, short-toed
  • Warbler, Cetti’s
  • Warbler, Dartford
  • Warbler, marsh
  • Warbler, Savi’s
  • Whimbrel
  • Woodlark
  • Wryneck

Schedule 1 – Part II

Birds afforded special protection during the close season which is 1 February to 31 August (21 February to 31 August below high water mark) but which may be killed or taken outside this period.

Goldeneye
Pintail
Greylag goose (in Outer Hebrides, Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross only)

Schedule 2 – Part I

Birds protected during the close season (1 February to 31 August) but which may be killed or taken outside this period. Close season for ducks and geese when below high water mark is 21 February to 31 August.

Capercaillie – close season 1 February to 30 September (not Scotland)
Coot
Duck, tufted
Gadwall
Goldeneye
Goose, Canada
Goose, greylag
Goose, pink-footed
Goose, white-fronted (England and Wales only)
Mallard
Moorhen
Pintail
Plover, golden
Pochard
Shoveler
Snipe, common (close season 1 February to 11 August)
Teal
Wigeon
Woodcock (close season 1 February to 30 September except Scotland where 1 February to 31 August)

Schedule 3 – Part I

Birds which may be sold alive at all times if fitted with an approved ring and bred in captivity.

Blackbird
Brambling
Bullfinch
Bunting, reed
Chaffinch
Dunnock
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
Jackdaw
Jay
Linnet
Magpie
Owl, barn
Redpoll
Siskin
Starling
Thrush, song
Twite
Yellowhammer

Schedule 3 – Part II

Birds which may be sold dead (at all times).

Woodpigeon

Schedule 3 – Part III

Birds which may be sold dead from 1 September to 28 February.

Capercaillie (not Scotland)
Coot
Duck, tufted
Mallard
Pintail
Plover, golden
Pochard
Shoveler
Snipe, common
Teal
Wigeon
Woodcock

Schedule 4

Birds which must be ringed and registered with the government if they are kept in captivity.

  • Bunting, cirl (Wales)
  • Bunting, Lapland (Wales)
  • Bunting, snow (Wales)
  • Buzzard, honey (England and Wales)
  • Chough (Wales)
  • Crossbills (all species) (Wales)
  • Eagle, Spanish imperial (Wales)
  • Eagle, golden (England and Wales)
  • Eagle, Philippine (Wales)
  • Eagle, Eastern Imperial (Wales)
  • Eagle, New Guinea harpy (Wales)
  • Eagle, white-tailed (England and Wales)
  • Falcon, Barbary (Wales)
  • Falcon, gyr (Wales)
  • Fieldfare (Wales)
  • Firecrest (Wales)
  • Fish-eagle, Madagascar (Wales)
  • Forest-falcon, plumbeous (Wales)
  • Goshawk (England and Wales)
  • Harrier, hen (Wales)
  • Harrier, marsh (England and Wales)
  • Harrier, Montagu’s (England and Wales)
  • Hawk, Galapagos (Wales)
  • Hawk, grey-backed (Wales)
  • Hawk, Hawaiian (Wales)
  • Hawk, Ridgeway’s (Wales)
  • Hawk, white-necked (Wales)
  • Hawk-eagle, Wallace’s (Wales)
  • Hobby (Wales)
  • Honey-buzzard, black (Wales)
  • Kestrel, lesser (Wales)
  • Kestrel, Mauritius (Wales)
  • Kite, red (Wales)
  • Merlin (Wales, and if not issued with a CITES Article 10 certificate in England)
  • Oriole, golden (Wales)
  • Osprey (England and Wales)
  • Peregrine (Wales, and if not issued with a CITES Article 10 certificate in England)
  • Redstart, black (Wales)
  • Redwing (Wales)
  • Sea-eagle, Pallas’ (Wales)
  • Sea-eagle, Steller’s (Wales)
  • Serin (Wales)
  • Serpent-eagle, Andaman (Wales)
  • Serpent-eagle, Madagascar (Wales)
  • Serpent-eagle, mountain (Wales)
  • Shorelark (Wales)
  • Shrike, red-backed (Wales)
  • Sparrowhawk, New Britain (Wales)
  • Sparrowhawk, Gundlach’s (Wales)
  • Sparrowhawk, imitator (Wales)
  • Sparrowhawk, small (Wales)
  • Tit, bearded (Wales)
  • Tit, crested (Wales)
  • Warbler, Cetti’s (Wales)
  • Warbler, Dartford (Wales)
  • Warbler, marsh (Wales)
  • Warbler, Savi’s (Wales)
  • Woodlark (Wales)
  • Wryneck (Wales)