If a bird’s nest was built in an unfavorable way, for example directly above the seating area in the garden or so unfavorably that the flight path is directly above the entrance to the house, then the question arises as to whether the nest could not simply be moved in the interests of the birds. In general, however, the answer to this question is no, because this is where the Federal Nature Conservation Act comes into play. The removal or relocation of a bird’s nest can only be permitted in exceptional cases.

Simply implement bird’s nest – allowed or not?

There is a bird’s nest on the wall of the house directly above the front door, above a seat in the garden or in a tree that you want to cut down, which unfortunately is a nuisance here. But in any case, the well-being of the bird always takes precedence over the wishes of humans and so the nests must not simply be moved. Even if no birds are breeding. A bird’s nest can only be moved with a special permit and a commissioned specialist. For this, the Federal Nature Conservation Act and the right time must be observed. It is therefore better to observe the birds in late winter, to close off possible nesting sites, to offer alternatives and to gently drive the birds away from the selected nesting sites at an early stage if nest building is not desired.

  • observe legal regulations
  • permit nest removal
  • look out for endangered bird species
  • choose the right time
  • Gently drive away birds before nest building
  • Offer alternatives for nest building
  • close possible nesting sites beforehand

Legal Provisions

The provisions of the Federal Nature Conservation Act are very clearly regulated. If these are disregarded, there is a risk of a fine. This also applies to moving or removing a bird’s nest. The species does not matter, but some birds are more protected than others. This depends on the stock in question. The legal provisions can be summarized as follows:

  • First of all, damaging nests is strictly forbidden
  • Violations can be punished with severe penalties
  • First of all, nests should not be removed independently
  • nor be made inaccessible
  • removal also includes repositioning
  • the bird can no longer find its nest
  • with some nests there are exceptions
  • approval must be obtained
  • at the same time, replacement breeding sites must be created

permit nest removal

Anyone who has good reasons to remove a bird’s nest, for example because a tree has been felled or a facade or roof has been renovated, can have this approved by the competent authority. However, experts who are familiar with this should always be consulted. Simply moving a disturbing bird’s nest yourself is generally not allowed. In most cases such a permit will be obtained, but where the bird is an endangered species it can be more difficult. Nevertheless, one should always act in the best interest of the bird. Failure to comply with the requirements of the authority can result in high fines.

Pay attention to endangered bird species

Especially in the case of dying bird species, the nests must not be touched at all. This includes, for example, many ground-nesting species such as the lapwing. This species of bird is critically endangered and it is a criminal offense to move or remove these nests. Here, too, it is important to first obtain approval from the responsible authority and then gently try to move the nests with experts.

The right moment

If you absolutely have to move a bird’s nest and thus remove it, then you always have to wait for the right time to do so. If there are eggs in the nest and the pair of birds are incubating them or if small birds are being fed, then the nest has to get stuck. The following must be observed in particular:

  • Breeding season is not necessarily spring
  • many birds breed several times a year
  • Breeding season is from March 1st to September 30th
  • nests must be left alone during this period
  • only then can measures be considered
Note: Any work that needs to be done in the garden or around the house is usually planned for longer. Therefore, you can search for any bird nests and obtain permission to remove them in the winter before starting work.

Scare away birds from nest building

When the first birds start building their nests in late winter/early spring, you can observe where they want to build their nest. If this is an unsuitable place, for example because the nest will later hang directly over a seat or on a roof that you want to renovate in summer, then you can drive the birds away here so that nest building does not even start. This can be done as follows:

  • Let your cat or dog into the garden
  • use electric bird repellents from the trade
  • Attach mobile with CDs to endangered nest building site
  • Cut the aluminum foil into strips and hang them up as well
  • Wind chimes of any kind confuse the birds
  • they avoid any sound of small bells
  • do not leave any leftovers on the terrace
  • Set up feeding places in a far corner

Nest building alternatives

Discouraging birds from nesting in impossible locations can be as simple as providing them with alternative nest building sites. In this way, higher stone walls can be erected in the garden or many nesting boxes can be hung in trees. A beautiful and also decorative idea is to build a wall made of wooden panels, where many nesting boxes can get a place. The sociable sparrows, for example, are happy to accept such an alternative, where they can breed together with other pairs of birds as neighbors. High hedges, on the other hand, are well suited to provide breeding grounds for many native songbirds such as the blackbird. The following alternatives are still available here:

  • tall trees at the edge of a garden
  • Nest boxes in far corners in the garden
  • Nest box also directly on the house wall
  • if birds do not disturb here
  • Species-appropriate nesting aids for swallows from the trade
Note: According to the Federal Nature Conservation Act, it is also forbidden during the period from March 1st to September 30th. to cut a hedge, because at this time one could disturb nesting birds.

Close any nesting sites in advance

There are bird species, such as the common swift, that look for small holes in walls or under the ridge of the roof to build their nests there. Even sparrows often prefer such small caves. To prevent the birds from building nests in the first place, you should check the house for these loopholes and seal them if necessary. If a tree is to be protected from nests, a net stretched around the crown helps. However, the following must still be observed:

  • there must be no old nest in the interior
  • the birds often return here the following summer
  • obtain permission to close a nest
  • only close in winter
  • eggs may be in the nest in spring/summer
  • attach netting under a roof ridge
  • Seal the space between the roof shingles and ridge

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