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Unseasonably Warm Weather Confuses Birds into Nesting Early – Careful When Clipping the Hedge

02/04/2008 13:30:46 The RSPB is urging gardeners to wield their hedge trimmers and shears with caution in the next few weeks as many birds may have settled into their nests uncharacteristically early. February/March is usually an ideal time for cutting back garden hedges, trees and shrubs as nesting birds are yet to start building.

But many birds have begun to build their nests already, especially in thick or evergreen shrubs and climbers, and trimming them back would seriously disturb them. And in Essex a pair of Robins have already laid their eggs in a nestbox, one of the earliest ever laying dates.

Val Osborne, Head of Wildlife Enquiries at the RSPB says: ‘If you see birds flying about with beakfuls of twigs and dried leaves already, the chances are they have chosen a nest site nearby. So before leaping into action in your garden with the sunny days please proceed with caution!

‘It is illegal to intentionally damage or destroy active nests and most people would hate to do that anyway. Try to check any potential sites before cutting and pruning and if you find a nest work quickly and lightly in that area to avoid disturbing the birds or exposing their nest.’

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