Bird Surveys

Breeding & Wintering Bird Surveys

During the breeding bird season, which is usually between March and August, ALL actively breeding birds are legally protected. If a habitat that is favourable for breeding bird activity (including ground nesting species) is to be disturbed during the breeding bird season, a breeding bird survey (BBS) is required prior to any works or disturbance of that habitat.

During the winter months, disturbance and loss of habitat has a particularly detrimental effect on many species of migratory wintering birds and wildfowl, some of which are of international importance, that habituate our estuaries, coastlines and associated inland feeding grounds.

Bird Surveys - Female Kingfisher UK

Female Kingfisher

Ecology Services Ltd. undertake bird surveys to assess the impacts of disturbance, changes in land-use or the loss of habitat. Valuable information gained from breeding and wintering bird survey data is analysed when suitable mitigation schemes, which will minimise the effects of any impacts, are being produced. For example, barns owls frequently roost in barns and out buildings. A conversion development of a barn will require an inspection to determine the presence or absence of this ‘Schedule 1’ protected species, which should be submitted when applying for planning application of the conversion. Mitigation measures can be implemented so that the conversion has a minimal impact on the available roosting/nesting habitat for this species. Licensed surveyors are required to adhere to legal protection, when surveying for barn owls.

For larger developments, the result of the loss of favourable habitat such as hedgerows, scrub areas, woodland or farmland (including buildings) could have adverse impacts on local bird populations.

Dipper (Cinclus cinclus), Peak District, UK. © Simon Booth.
Female Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) Lancashire, UK. © Lyn Eccles-Sargeant.

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