There are currently 632 species of bird in the UK alone that make up the millions of birds we see every day across the country.

Birds are an integral part of British life and culture as well as the broader ecosystem, but in recent years urban areas have seen a rise in bird nests in residential and commercial spaces.

In this article, we’ll be delving into the avian world, exploring why birds make nests, when birds start looking to nest, the reasons behind their early nesting behaviour, and the safest ways to handle the removal of a bird’s nest with the help of professional experts.

Why do birds make nests?

Nests are a common part of reproduction across the animal kingdom, and for birds nest building has been fundamental throughout their evolution.

Birds construct nests primarily to protect their offspring as these small but secure environments help to shelter eggs, shield their young from predators, and create a comfortable space for their hatchlings to grow.

Each species of bird designs and builds a nest in their own unique way with some, like pigeons, preferring to intricately construct hanging nests woven from grass, twigs and feathers. However, other birds, such as killdeers, will use surrounding stones and pebbles to build a secure nest.

The diversity in nest structures reflects the adaptability of birds to an ever-changing environments and the specific challenges that they face in the UK, particularly in urban settings.

When do birds start looking to nest?

The change of seasons and increased availability of resources tend to determine when exactly birds start to look for suitable sites to nest.

In the UK, nesting season starts as early as February and runs through to the end of August, with the busiest period being between March and July when the weather is warmer.

Spring is the most important season for many birds in the UK as it is when there are more insects, fresh vegetation, and longer daylight hours, making for optimal breeding conditions.

While some birds, like pigeons, nest year-round, it’s usually in the spring and summer months that you will see male birds engaged in courtship rituals to attract female mates.

Why do birds nest so early?

The main reason birds in the UK and around the globe tend to nest so early in the year is linked to maximising reproduction.

As soon as the temperature starts to increase again at the end of winter, birds are instinctively drawn to take advantage of the increased food resources available. The ground will have thawed, and therefore, insects will become easier to spot and grab. With more consistent and nutrient-dense food resources available, adult birds can feed themselves and their potential offspring.

Early nesting also enables birds to birth and raise multiple broods within a single breeding season, using the same nest they spend so much time constructing.

By starting early, birds increase the likelihood of producing multiple offspring.

What is the safest way to remove a bird’s nest?

A recent report by NatureScot, which looked at 14 species of urban birds, showed a 19 per cent increase in birds in urbanised areas between 1994 and 2019.

Increasingly, we are seeing human and avian habitats intersect, resulting in concerns about their presence and the location of their nests.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 legally protects all UK birds, their offspring, and, more importantly, their nests. As a result, it’s crucial to ensure you are following all the legal rules and regulations surrounding nest removal.

We recommend using a professional bird control service to ensure the safety of both the birds and the client.

Professional bird control services

Before taking any action to remove a nest on your property, we would advise you to consult with the team at Urban Hawks.

We can provide insight into the specific bird species involved, what might attract them to your site, the legal aspects of removal, and potential solutions we can apply to prevent birds from nesting.

In most cases, the best time to remove a bird nest is during the non-breeding season, which is between September and February in the UK.

Taking action during the autumn and winter months will help ensure all laws are abided by and minimise the impact on the species to protect your property.

Our team will work with you to implement preventative bird deterrent measures to ensure birds are no longer attracted to your site. Every property is different, so we have a wide range of barriers, deterrents, and repellents that can be combined to create a long-term solution to bird problems.

Removing bird nests is a tricky business, but thankfully, some exceptions in the law allows experts like those at Urban Hawks to place deterrents in the area to stop birds from nesting and ensure they will not return.

Are birds nesting on your property?

Understanding when birds start looking to nest and why it happens is the first step to discovering ways to safely and legally protect your property from unwanted bird species.

Utilising professional bird control methods ensures that the interests of both the client and the birds are considered when dealing with the problem quickly and effectively.

If you have concerns about nesting birds on your property and would like advice on how to identify bird nests, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today by calling us on 0151 345 6854 or send an email to