Ideal Tree Services

Nesting Birds – Can I cut my tree?

Can I cut a tree which has nesting birds?

It’s important to consider the presence of nesting birds before carrying out any tree work. In the UK nesting season typically occurs between March and August. Although, this can vary depending on the species of bird and nesting can occur outside of these times.

During this time, birds will construct their nests and lay their eggs. It is important to avoid disturbing them as much as possible. Careful consideration should be given to any activity which could potentially harm them or their offspring.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981  makes it illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb nesting birds or damage their nests while they are in use.

This doesn’t mean that tree work cannot be carried out during nesting season, but we must carefully ensure that there are no nesting birds, or nests being constructed in the tree prior to commencement of any work. Furthermore, we must also ensure that we are not causing any harm to birds or their nests nearby.

In some situations where tree cutting is necessary for safety reasons, or to prevent damage to property, work can be carried out on trees where birds are present. This would be an absolute last resort option and in such cases where there is no other option, it would be necessary to apply for a wildlife license.

Ensuring that there are no nesting activities may involve conducting a survey to identify any active nests in the area. At Ideal Tree Services, we are fully qualified in arboriculture, including tree surveying and we will ensure all appropriate measures have been taken to ensure we do not disturb any wildlife and particularly minimize harm to nesting birds. If we identify nesting activities, we would re-schedule your work for outside of the nesting season and re-assess at that time.

So how do I know if I have nesting birds?

We will fully assess all tree work prior to commencement to ensure that we are not causing any harm or disturbance to wildlife.

There are several signs that can indicate that birds are nesting in your tree. Read on to get some tips on what to look out for…..

Nesting birds activity

If you see birds flying in and out of your tree, carrying twigs, leaves, or other materials, this could be a sign that they are building a nest.

Nesting material

Look for twigs, leaves, grass, or other materials that have been woven together to form a nest. Depending on the species of bird, the nest may be small and simple or more elaborate.

Bird songs and calls

During nesting season, birds may become more vocal as they communicate with their mates or defend their territory. If you hear birds singing or calling from your tree, this could be a sign that they are nesting.

Birds Droppings

There may be a build up of bird droppings around the nesting site.

Nesting structures

Some bird nests are very visible and easy to spot, while others may be more hidden. Look for structures that are bowl-shaped, domed, or woven together in a tight cluster.

What to do next?

If you suspect that birds are nesting in your tree, it’s important to avoid disturbing them as much as possible. This will help to protect the birds and their young, and may also be required by law in some cases.

More information on nesting birds can be found at:

Do not hesitate to contact us if you require any tree work. We can advise on the best course of action if you suspect there may be nesting birds.