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When can I move a starling nest from my loft?

Sent in by Angela Jeffery, Northamptonshire

Starlings love nothing more than a cosy space, in a roof or loft, for their nests. Although they are noisy, they seldom cause any damage and their nesting period is fairly short.

Only when you are certain that a nest is no longer in use, can it be removed as active nests, for all birds, are fully protected by law. May is the peak month for nesting starlings and many have already fledged. You will see, and hear them, chasing their parents and begging for food - very demanding youngsters.

However, it is possible that, despite the strain of rearing one brood, the adults will nest again.

A good tip is to provide a starling nestbox, close to where they are entering the loft, and the chances are they will use this instead. This will benefit starlings for years to come and they need all the help we can give them. Their numbers have declined so dramatically that they are a 'red-listed' species, being of high conservation concern.

Helping them with accommodation is one thing we can all do. I have two boxes on my house and the starlings love them. They make charming, amusing neighbours.

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