Notice: Abandoned Nest Registry
The Migratory Birds Regulations 2022 (MBRs 2022) prohibits the damage, destruction, removal or disturbance of the nests of all migratory birds when there is a live bird or viable egg, or if the nest was built by a species that is listed in Schedule 1.
Schedule 1 lists eighteen migratory bird species whose nests are known to be reused in subsequent years by migratory birds. The nests of these 18 species are protected year round. However, stakeholders may damage, destroy, disturb or remove these nests if:
- Environment and Climate Change Canada has received a notification through the electronic Abandoned Nest Registry regarding the potentially abandoned nest; and
- the nest remains unoccupied by a migratory bird for the period of time designated in Schedule 1 (12, 24 or 36 months, depending on the species)
What you need to know
To ensure that nests are abandoned, Schedule 1 of the MBRs 2022 establishes the minimum number of months for which the nest must have been unoccupied by a migratory bird before they can be destroyed. The time clock for this waiting period starts on the day that Environment and Climate Change Canada receives your notification via the Abandoned Nest Registry. Nests for which a notification has been received continue to be protected against damage, destruction, disturbance or removal during the designated waiting period.
If a nest is reused by a migratory bird during the waiting time, it is no longer considered unoccupied and the notice becomes void. In this case, you are to contact AvisNid-NestNotifications@ec.gc.ca so that the notification submission may be cancelled. If the nest again becomes unoccupied, and you still wish to destroy the nest, you must submit a new notification, which would start the time clock over again.
Registrants will need to provide basic information about themselves and about the unoccupied nest. The registrant will need to provide the following contact information about themselves:
- email address
- organization name
- phone number
Nest information required by the registrant for the abandoned nest notification:
- date which the abandoned nest was found, by year, month and day
- species name
- number of abandoned nests (for colonial species)
- latitude and longitude of the abandoned nest location or nest colony in decimal degrees
- province where nest is located
- additional details
Notices with dates from before July 30, 2022 – the date the MBRs 2022 came into force – will not be accepted.
Monitoring nests of Schedule 1 species during the designated wait time
The MBR 2022 do not dictate a required level of monitoring, although to determine if a nest is unoccupied and potentially abandoned, it will be necessary that verifications occurr during a period when such a nest could reasonably be expected to be in use.
Proponents only need to inform ECCC, through a notification, of those unoccupied nests of Schedule 1 species that they wish to damage, destroy, disturb or remove. If the proponent chooses to leave the nest on the landscape undisturbed, there is no requirement to submit a notification.
- Migratory Bird Convention Act, 1994
- Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022
- Fact Sheet: Nest protection under the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022
- Frequently Asked Questions: MBR 2022
- Pileated Woodpecker cavity identification guide
If you have any questions about the abandoned nest registration process or system, please contact AvisNid-NestNotifications@ec.gc.ca.
For any questions about the act or its regulations, you can reach us at: 1-800-668-6767.
Disclaimer: This is not a legal document. If there is a discrepancy between the law and the information on this page, the law prevails.
Privacy Act notice statement
The personal information is collected under the authority of paragraph 5(2) (c) of the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022.
As part of Canada’s strategy to conserve migratory birds, their nests and eggs and to protect them from harm, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has launched the Registry for Abandoned Nests Website. The registry has been created in order to determine the location and number of nests, the type of species that occupied the nests, and the date on which the abandoned nests were found.
The information is collected, used and disclosed for the purpose of registering abandoned nests of species listed in Schedule 1 of the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022. The information collected from this registry may be retained for up to 36 months and may be shared with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Enforcement Branch for enforcement purposes.
The personal information created, held or collected by Environment and Climate Change Canada is protected under the Privacy Act. Information in this registry will be used, disclosed and retained in accordance with the conditions listed in the Personal Information Bank to be developed.
Any questions or comments regarding this privacy notice may be directed to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy Division at ECATIP-ECAIPRP@ec.gc.ca. If you are not satisfied that we have adequately respected your privacy, you have a right to file a complaint. You may contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada by calling their information center at 1-800-282-1376 or by visiting their contact page.
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