In the UK all wild birds, their nests, and their eggs are protected by law. It is against the law to intentionally kill, injure, or take wild birds, unless carried out under a licence. Offences can carry a prison sentence of up to six months.
Despite this, many species are shot, poisoned, and illegally trapped, as well as having their nests disturbed. These species often includes birds of prey such as:
How to spot bird crime
You can can help prevent bird crime by keeping watch for suspicious activity, poisoned bait sites, and illegal ‘pole traps’, which are are used to capture birds of prey before the trapper returns to kill them.
If you see any of the following, it may be the result of a bird crime:
dead birds of prey lying next to dead pigeons, rabbits, pheasants, or other poisoned baits. You must not touch these
live birds of prey caught in any trap
any spring traps set out in the open that are not within a cage tunnel or other enclosed tunnel structure
any 'pole traps', which are spring traps set up on the top of a post
Birds can die from natural causes, particularly avian influenza in recent years. For this reason, it is extremely important that you do not touch any dead birds, but please continue to report them.