Protected species

Bird surveys

Our expert ornithologists can assess your requirements, complete bird surveys and provide a clear understanding of any bird related issues. Read on to understand why and when you may need a bird survey plus discover more about breeding bird and nesting bird surveys.

Do I need a bird survey?

Bird surveys identify potential impacts, guide the development of mitigation measures to minimise adverse effects and support compliance with legislation and regulations that protect all wild birds not just notable species including:

  • Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
  • Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
  • Protected Species Licences


Where the value of a site for birds will be affected by development, we can produce mitigation packages, informed by relevant bird survey data.

Main types of bird survey

Breeding bird survey:

A breeding bird survey aims to assess the overall abundance and distribution of bird species during the breeding season within a defined area. Records are made of birds seen or heard in that location for a defined period of time and their breeding status. Habitat quality and suitability for breeding birds is assessed along with the rarity and importance of the bird species found.

This combined data on species and habitat during the breeding season helps to assess the likely impacts of a development and define any avoidance or mitigation measures required.

Core survey period: March-July (some species breed outside of this season)


Nesting bird survey:

Nesting birds are regularly an issue for developments when scrub and other vegetation needs to be cleared when birds are nesting (usually between March to the end of August).

A nesting bird survey focuses on recording the presence of nests or nesting bird activity within areas to be impacted by development works.

We will survey for nesting birds and identify nesting locations, advising on what works can be done and where disturbance may need to be avoided. Our ecologists are well versed in devising appropriate method statements and guiding contractors on the ground.

Core survey period: March-Aug (some species nest outside of this season)

 Contact our expert team today to discuss your project requirements.

Other protected species surveys

Water vole & otter

Find out more

Great crested newt

Find out more
The quality of CSA’s work – their documentation, consultation and collaboration with the design team, statutory authorities and clients – is first class.”

Chris Cunningham, Harrison Sutton Partnership