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Hi all. We are very lucky and have many nesting pairs of swallows which come back year after year. This year we are turning one if our outbuildings into an office and there are some old swallow nests in there. We have put some fish wire over the holes in the doors to stop the swallows getting to them to use them for nesting but I am distressed to see themcontinually trying to get to the nests.
Have we done a terrible thing? Will they eventually rebuild their nests elsewhere or will this have a detrimental impact on thir survival? We have put out trays of mud, cotton buds and fibrous material tofacilitate nest building but we are very worried about the impact we are having. Any thoughts anyone?
Looks like they are protected by law. http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/s/swallow/legal.aspx
DefrA states that they are protected once they are being used or have eggs in. Ours don't. Anbody got any practical suggestions? Please!
Not really, they will try to get back to their original nests until they are gone - presumably the work on the offices will eventually mean the old nests are destroyed? Maybe then they will rebuild elsewhere - lets hope so.
Can you remove the old nests from their sight? That way, you might persuade them to build elsewhere.
Thank you everyone. Ijust called the RSPB and they have assured us that we have done the right thing, to prevent them from nesting there. Once they were nesting we would be unable to touch them until they had migrated back to Africa.
They said that once the swallows realise they can't get to the old nests they will make use of, and repair the numerous redundant other swallow nests around the site. They have also suggested that we make lots of mud available to the birds to facilitate the nest building. I did this this morning and have already spotted the swallows making use of it.
Thanks for all your comments folks. I though I would let you know the outcome just in case anyone else has the same problem.
You will have to keep all doors and windows shut when they return next year and the year after.
Mmmm! Could have nesting swallows in the new office!,