Eskling's picture

Herons in the Tree Tops

Observed: 26th February 2013 By: EsklingEskling’s reputation in BirdsEskling’s reputation in BirdsEskling’s reputation in BirdsEskling’s reputation in Birds
Heron in tree top
Photo removed by user

Strange croaking noises drew my attention to the tree tops where there were 3 or 4 Herons.
(I assume there is a nest nearby - if the experts feel that this contravenes the iSpot 'no nest photos' policy I will remove it.)

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) interacts


Bill Henderson's picture



Although not one of the experts you asked for, I would have thought that from this time of year on most birds will be close to their nests. I would suggest that we're okay as long as we don't show the nest.


Bill Henderson

Eskling's picture


If it is a nest, it is 30ft up a pine tree and not really accessible!
Also, I noticed on my way out that the National Trust has a poster board saying that Herons are nesting in the trees at this time of year -so not really a secret.


Ray Turner's picture

Hi Philip

There are two issues to consider with nests; firstly is the bird on Schedule 1 (or 4) of the The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. These are “birds and their young, for which it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest.“ The quotation is from the RSPB website. Note on or near. As you hint at some species are so endangered or rare in the UK the nests are kept secret and sometimes guarded.

However this can lead to a false sense of security because under the same act it is an offence to “intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird whilst it is in use or being built” and “intentionally take or destroy the egg of any wild bird”. This part of the act does allow much freedom so you could take nest photos if you wished provided you did not fall fowl of the above. Indeed the BTO runs a nest monitoring scheme which would not be feasible if some controlled disturbance (of none S1) was not allowable.

Of course nest monitors take great care when checking nests, follow a code of practice and many will have been through a BTO training course. However from iSpot’s perspective it cannot be sure how a photo was obtained so for the benefit of all birds’ welfare it has decided not to allow photographs of nests. I do note that several pictures of old nests have recently appeared (and I have one I may put up myself) so I assume some leeway is being allowed for obviously old and out of season nests.

Below are a few links that may be helpful.



Eskling's picture

Thanks for the comments & links

As Photo 2 is quite likely to be a nesting pair I am going to remove it, just to be sure that I am complying with the 'no nests' policy.