All wild nesting birds are protected under UK legislation. Some species are afforded further protection against disturbance to the adults, young or nest while breeding. Some protected sites are also important for breeding or overwintering birds. Where a development poses a threat to nesting birds or such protected areas, surveys are necessary to assess and minimise impacts.
• A Nesting Bird Survey can determine whether active nests are present in a pre-defined area of habitat. Species, and often stage, can be estimated allowing accurate timeframes and recommendations to be made and impacts to be avoided. Most often required during the main breeding season which is generally accepted as being between March and September.
• A Breeding Bird Survey provides a comprehensive map of species and territories within a site. Undertaken between April and July.
• A Winter Bird Survey is used to quantify the use of a site by overwintering birds, often waterfowl. Undertaken between November and February.
• Where suitable habitat exists a Raptor Survey may be required to determine species and territories within or near to a site. Undertaken during the main breeding season depending upon habitats present.