|House Martin at nest (Photo courtesy of RSPB.org)|
There is always conflict between man and birds when birds use buildings (or vehicles!!) as nest sites!! House Martins and Swallows are a classic example. House Martins nest under the eaves of houses and other buildings, making a small dome of mud in which to raise their young. The nest, eggs and birds are afforded the same protection as any other birds and it is illegal to remove their nests whilst they are building it or using it. They are particularly late this year and can have a couple of broods, which is worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of knocking down that nest because of the mess they are making. Each egg or young killed can be a fine of up to £5000 or 6 months in prison! We do get a lot of reports at this time of year from concerned neighbours about this problem and we will investigate reports of this kind. Likewise for Swallows who tend to use barns and out buildings to nest. Think twice about removing those nests just because of the mess the birds leave on your car!