The BTO also runs the national Nest Record Scheme (NRS) which collects and collates nest records for all types of wild birds (with the proviso that it must be possible to see into a nest to record its contents). Volunteers first register as nest recorders with the scheme which provides a lot of information and support regarding nest recording, and then go in search of nests, recording information such as location and date, nest contents and outcome, as well as details about the habitat and nest site, all of which is reported back to the BTO. Nest recorders follow the NRS code of conduct, so that there is consistency across observers in how data is collected, but most importantly so that disturbance to birds in kept to a minimum and so that the monitoring does not have any negative effect on the outcome of the nests checked.
|Nesting Coot (I encountered her in reeds close to a footpath, quickly took a photo and moved on)|
Some legal bits...Wild birds and their nests are protected by law, when monitoring nests only licensed bird ringers are legally permitted to pick up and handle eggs and chicks and this is only for the purposes of taking measurements/weights and ringing. All photos below were taken during ringing of the birds, with the appropriate licences in place. Certain species including Barn Owls, are listed as Schedule 1 birds and are afforded additional legal protection during the breeding season, as are their nests and young, meaning that it is against the law to disturb them or their nests during the breeding season for monitoring without having the appropriate additional licencing to do so. Again, the BTO website has lots more information for anyone interested in becoming involved with the monitoring of these species and also about the ringing scheme in the UK.
|Little Owl chicks (some of my personal favourites!)|
|Stock dove chicks|
|Kestrel chick (photo taken by my husband)|
|Barn Owl chick (a Schedule 1 species)|