CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A post on the neighborhood app NextDoor asked for advice on how to get rid of a bird's nest on their property.
Another user replied, saying it was illegal to move or destroy a bird's nest.
So the question is: Can you move an active nest of a migratory bird, as long as it's not endangered?
- Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Community Outreach Coordinator, Laurel Millaci
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
- North Carolina Fish and Wildlife
- The North American Bird Conservation Initiative
WHAT WE FOUND
The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue rehabilitates as many as 3,000 birds.
"We have had such incredible encroachment on nature with all the development, especially in this area that birds have fewer places to nest," Millaci told WCNC Charlotte.
Millaci said the lack of appropriate nesting spots means more migratory birds are choosing places like people's garages, corners of their homes, or on their property.
But is it illegal to get rid of an active nest?
"If a bird has a nest and no eggs are laid you can just leave it or take it down, [but] once an egg is in the nest its really against the law to remove it," Millaci said.
That has been the case since 1918 when the Migratory Bird Treaty Act went into place
Under the MBTA it is illegal to move or destroy a nest that has eggs or chicks in it.
But this law only protects birds that are on the migratory bird list, which includes more than 350 species.
In an email, North Carolina Fish and Wildlife said they do not have data on violations for removing bird nests because these calls are very rare.
If an investigation does find someone illegally removed a bird's nest the fine would be no more than $250.
So we can verify that no, you can not move an active nest of a migratory bird, even if it's not endangered.
Contact Meghan Bragg at email@example.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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