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How to protect birds / Landscaping / News

Published on 03.02.2022

An exhibition on the birds of Loire-Atlantique and Saint-Herblain is offered by the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) from February 2 to March 18 at La Longère. The opportunity to discover how to participate in their protection.

Each year, many swallow and swift nests are destroyed or moved due to development work or to avoid the dirt they cause. Returning from migration, they are often prevented from returning to their usual nests. Unfortunately, such behavior promotes their decline.

The protected swallow and swift

Faced with this observation, in 1976, the legislator took up the issue by protecting the swift (white-bellied swift, black swift and pale swift) and the swallow (barn swallow, house swallow, red-rumped swallow, bank swallow , rock swallow). Then, in 2009 the list was expanded reaching 284 protected species.
It is therefore prohibited to intentionally destroy the eggs and nests of these animals.

Likewise, the destruction, capture, intentional mutilation of birds as well as their intentional disturbance during the breeding period are absolutely prohibited. The transport, stuffing, peddling, sale or purchase, commercial or non-commercial use of the bird specimens taken are also prohibited. Similarly, the removal or destruction of nests is prohibited by law even outside the periods when birds are present.

Penalties incurred

Anyone who contravenes the regulations protecting protected species, for example destroying a nest without derogation, commits an offense and is liable to a fine of up to 150,000 euros and/or a maximum prison sentence of three years. An exception however: the offense of intentional disturbance of birds constitutes a 4ᵉ class fine, therefore a maximum fine of 750€.

Some derogations

Sometimes exemptions are granted to individuals when they want to remove a nest in order to carry out work, if the prefecture considers that there is no other satisfactory solution. The derogation request must be submitted using this form.

Limit the size of your hedges

The LPO recommends no longer trimming hedges or pruning trees between the end of March and the end of July, so that the birds can nest in complete serenity. Thus, the blackbird, the house robin, the speckled accentor, the European greenfinch, the chaffinch, and many others who use the forks of the branches to hang their nests will be able to settle quietly. Before cutting or pruning, wait for the fledglings to fly!

Gardening while protecting the birds

A few simple behaviors contribute to the preservation of biodiversity: planting local plants will be more suitable for the birds of our regions. So avoid planting palm laurels, cypresses, cedars… Instead, use hawthorns, blackthorns, European spindles, privet, etc. to plant hedges. Similarly, in isolated trees, birches, apple trees, hazel trees are more conducive to birds than eucalyptus…

Natural, non-plastic mulch will be welcome : it promotes the multiplication of earthworms which will aerate and stir the soil. Blackbirds and thrushes are sure to come and scratch there to feed. Feel free to leave ivy on a tree. Ivy is not a parasitic plant, it is a vine. It is a very interesting shelter for birds that can nest or sleep there. It is also an exceptional pantry, because many insects and spiders hide there and in addition it bears fruit at the end of winter when the other species have none. Thanks to all these little gestures, you will become a bird’s friend!

The exhibition on birds of Loire-Atlantique and Saint-Herblain is presented from February 2 to March 18 at the Longère de la Bégraisière rue François-Rabelais. Tour of the exhibition with the LPO, 18 and 23 February.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, a conference will be held on Tuesday February 22, from 8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m., on the theme: “Birds, elements of biodiversity”. At the Longère de la Bégraisière, on registration on 02 28 25 24 70.

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