Starlings are medium-sized or small passerine birds that belong to the Sturnidae family of birds. Starlings are native to Europe, Africa and Asia. In many countries this bird is protected by law.
For instance, in the United Kingdom, these interesting birds are protected under the act passed in 1981 known as the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
The basic purpose of this act is to prevent intentional killing, injuring or taking starlings by making all these activities illegal. In addition, it is also illegal to damage, take or eliminate an occupied nest and the content of nests of these birds.
Even though this Act doesn’t regulate and mention the situations in which people try to prevent starlings from reaching their nests by creating certain obstacles, this activity is often considered to be illegal by most courts in the UK. So, in case you are planning to conduct certain repairs or modifications on the roof or the soffits, it is crucial to find out whether the nests are active. This is especially important when the breeding season starts and when these birds are very active.
The Act used to have a special provision to control and manage these birds under a general license, but this provision was eliminated and today this species is completely protected in England and Wales. What is good to know is that the general licenses that were issued under this Act are fully legitimate in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. With this provision, an authorised person can manage the activity of starlings in case these birds pose threat to the agricultural activities and public safety and health.
Experts advise to use this option only when there is no other solution. When we talk about authorised persons, we should mention that the law recognizes the landowner, the occupier or their agent as authorised persons. Keep in mind that damage or a problem related to the property in general is not sufficient for control and management of starling’s activity which means that roof nests can’t be removed legally unless the owner explains the reason to the authorities before taking any action.
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