Environmental Regulatory Compliance for
Highway Development and Operations

Wildlife — Possess, Take or Destroy Bird Nest and/or Egg

Potential Approval, Permit or Code of Practice Requirements:


Section 34 of the Wildlife Act prohibits possessing, taking or destroying (i) a bird or its egg, (ii) the nest of an eagle, peregrine falcon, gyrfalcon, osprey, heron or burrowing owl, or (iii) the nest of a bird not mentioned in (ii), when the nest is occupied by a bird or its egg unless authorized under permit.

Vegetation clearing is likely to destroy birds’ nests, so it should be done only when the nests are not occupied. To comply with Section 34(iii) of the Act, clearing that must be done during the nesting season must be preceded by nest surveys to confirm that active nests will not be affected. A vegetation buffer must be retained around each active nest. The nest survey protocol should be developed and implemented by a qualified professional. The protocol must be acceptable the Ministry of Environment.

Section 3(1)(d) of the Wildlife Act Permit Regulation provides the Ministry of Environment Regional Manager the authority to issue a permit exempting a highway project from the prohibitions in Section 34 of the Act. This power may be used in exceptional circumstances, but has not been used to permit highway–related clearing.

Also see Migratory Birds.


Relevant Section or Regulation:

Regulating Agency:


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