Bird Surveys

Arbeco  »  Ecology Services  »  Bird Surveys

  • Bird Surveys © Craig Llewellyn
  • Avocets © Arbeco Ltd.
  • Mandarin © Arbeco Ltd.
  • Wheatear © Arbeco Ltd.


There are approximately 250 bird species that breed in the UK, some of which are resident all year, some are summer migrants and some winter. Given the wide variety of birds found in the UK and range of habitats birds can utilise, almost all sites have potential to support nesting birds.


There are several types of bird surveys; breeding bird surveys, winter bird surveys and specialist surveys e.g. Black Redstart or migrant birds.

Surveys normally include a walkover survey of a site to establish the presence of habitats that have the potential to support breeding and wintering birds. Where a site has potentially suitable habitats, a follow-up survey may be required to assess its importance to birds as a breeding and wintering location.

All wild birds that are native to the UK, including those that migrate to the UK, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to recklessly kill, injure or take any wild birds, nests or eggs. Certain bird species are listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and receive extra protection.

  • © Craig Llewellyn
  • Woodpecker © Arbeco Ltd.


It is advisable to complete site clearance outside the breeding season, which is February to August as nests, eggs and nestlings are vulnerable to disturbance. If this is not possible, then the site may need to be checked for the presence of nesting birds and their young if it has bird nesting potential, and clearance delayed as necessary to avoid disturbing the birds.

Habitats can be created to compensate for the loss of bird habitat. To increase birdlife on site ‘wild’ areas can be created, nest boxes installed and green roofs built.

Protected Species

Ecology Consultancy