Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Bird nests are gorgous, and the egg varieties are simply astounding. You can take as many photos as you wish - if you can do so in a way that does NOT bother the bird family. But NEVER touch the actual nest or eggs!
I just got an email from a woman who said she loves to collect bird nests - and will grab them with the eggs still inside if she isn't able to wait for the babies to grow up. In essence, once those baby birds are stolen from their parents, they die a slow death as they freeze to death, unable to continue growing into the fluffy chicks they were meant to be.
Not only is this activity rather immoral, but it is also illegal in just about every part of the world. In the US, there is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act:
"Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712). Except as allowed by implementing regulations, this Act makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, kill, capture, possess, buy, sell, purchase, or barter any migratory bird, including the feathers or other parts, nests, eggs, or migratory bird products. "
That covers every bird that migrates at some part of its cycle, which is probably 99% of birds. Note the word POSSESS in there. In addition, the Bald Eagle, which does not normally migrate, has a special act of its own:
"Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668C). This Act makes it illegal to import, export, or take bald or golden eagles, or to sell, purchase, or barter their parts, or products made from them, including their nests or eggs."
These acts are enforced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. People caught violating this act can be sent to jail for 6 months and fined up to $500.
The "International Migratory Bird Convention" is the worldwide set of rules that restrict bird, feather, egg and nest collection around the world. The US, UK and Australia have some of the most strict anti-collection laws, but they are also strict in much of the world because of the severe damage and in some cases extinction caused by egg and nest collectors.
Egg collecting in the UK has been completely illegal since 1982. The Police.UK Information on egg collecting laws.
Oology - The Study of Eggs
Wild Birds: Illegal Pets
Tradition of the Easter Egg
Bird Nest Paintings and Artwork