Fly through tower maintenance with avian nest surveys 

May 9, 2023

Telecommunications network buildouts and maintenance are crucial to keeping people connected around the world, from checking the local weather forecast to being able to contact emergency personnel without delays.

The expansion and maintenance of telecom infrastructure, however, can threaten wildlife and lead to hefty fines and, in severe cases, prison time. While the repercussions for nest disturbance or destruction can be extreme, it’s an easily avoidable violation.

By taking advantage of EBI’s comprehensive avian nest surveys, telecom companies can take appropriate measures like modifying project timelines to avoid violations and minimize impact on the avian species.

To help guide our clients, we answered the top 3 questions we receive most regarding avian nest surveys and best practices.

1. When does avian nesting take place?

Nesting season depends on many factors like the species, region, climate and weather conditions, so it can be a bit tricky to track. For most birds, nesting is most active between the months of April and June, but it can start as early as March and end as late as September. Since it’s not a perfect science, telecommunication companies should consider the possibility of active bird nests during any tower construction or maintenance to be sure to avoid disturbing or destroying any active nests.

If you spot a nest on a tower that needs maintenance or construction, it’s best to slot the project for the fall or winter months depending on the species observed by an environmental consultant.

2. When is the best time to consult an environmental consultant for avian survey needs?

As soon as you have any indication of a nest, whether you spot a possibly active nest or see birds getting comfortable on or around the site, get moving on contacting a qualified environmental engineer or consultant.

When it comes to timing, it is often best to conduct a survey as close to the date of maintenance as you can, especially during the busier nesting months. Nests can become active overnight and impact project timelines unexpectedly.

3. How can i get my telecom back on track after an active bird nest has been identified?

If an active nest has been identified on your project site, we will note the stage of the nest and work with you on a customized timeline based on species, stage at time of identification, and when to get a follow-up survey to ensure that the nest is no longer active.

In some instances, nests become active late in the season and birds may not fledge the nest until far later than usual. Since it’s illegal to disturb a bird nest regardless of the time of year, you will need to halt work or maintenance if any avian activity is observed at the nest so we can provide educated guidance on getting your project back on track.

If nest removal is necessary at any point, it’s critical to work with an environmental consultant as some state agencies and/or the US Fish and Wildlife Service may require permitting depending on the bird species.

Working with an experienced environmental consultant like EBI Consulting will allow for an effective project plan that aligns with the needs of your telecom project as well as the conservation of migratory bird species, ensuring both site compliance and project success. Our nationwide network of local experts are familiar with local, state and federal regulations, providing you with confidence in your tower compliance at the highest level.

For more information or to request a quote, email us directly or contact us below.

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