How to Handle Nesting Birds at Telecom Tower Sites

How to Handle Nesting Birds at Telecom Tower Sites

Birds are one of the most federally protected animal species in the United States. Therefore, it is vital that tower workers who encounter nesting birds on telecommunication job sites know how to properly handle the situation to avoid disturbing the nests, harming the birds, or breaking federal laws.

Addressing Bird Nests on Telecom Towers

When dealing with nesting birds on telecommunications towers, workers should follow these important steps:

  1. Notify the owner. Upon discovery of a bird’s nest, the first thing a tower worker should do is notify the owner of the tower and provide him or her with the following information:
    • Location of the nest
    • Height of the nest
    • Description of the birds (if seen) or their species (if identified)
    • Description of any bird activity that is witnessed
    • Photos of the nest and birds, if possible
  2. Do not touch or remove the nest. To avoid legal ramifications or fines for breaking state or federal laws and protection acts, tower workers should not attempt to disturb or remove the nest on their own. Nest removals fall into two categories:
    • Active Nest Removals An active nest is defined as a nest currently hosting eggs or young that are unable to fly. Such bird nests require a federal permit for removal
    • Inactive Nest Removals If a nest is inactive, laws vary by state. Unless familiar with state guidelines, you should consult with a bird and wildlife professional before attempting to have a bird’s nest removed.
  3. Cautiously proceed with the assigned task. The existence of a bird’s nest on the jobsite, active or inactive, does not mean that all tower work must grind to a halt. Unless the nest’s location is impeding the task at hand, in most cases workers can proceed with caution. If at all possible, it is advisable to avoid working near a nest because, if the parents of an active nest return, they may be agitated by a worker’s presence.

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