The lusher the forest, the larger the bird population living there, and the more nests in the forest. So the easiest way to reduce damage from forestry to nesting is to focus on harvesting in arid and semi-arid heath forests during the most active nesting season. This has been Metsä Group’s policy for years.
In a normal spring, frost heave and the most active nesting season overlap, partly reducing forestry work during the most sensitive period for nesting.
If a lush, predominantly deciduous forest or, say, a spruce mire has to be harvested during the nesting season for logistical or similar reasons, Metsä Group’s operations expert carries out a preliminary check on the site prior to harvesting. Any nests detected in the check are preserved during harvesting.
Nesting trees of birds of prey are protected. Since large birds of prey are sensitive to disturbances during nesting, we do not carry out felling operations or other forest work in the vicinity of a nest during the nesting season. An abandoned and clearly damaged nesting tree is also protected even if you can operate normally in its vicinity.
Known bird’s nests have the best chances of survival
We aim to save nest boxes, as well as hollow trees and decaying wood, during harvesting. If we are unaware of an important nest, its survival during forestry work is left to chance and the forest professional’s observations.
Remember to point out any nesting tree of birds of prey when forest management work is being planned – nesting trees whose location is known are more likely to be left in place. Forest owners and birdwatchers possess a great deal of information that is not visible on the metsään.fi website, and which forest professionals are unaware of unless it is reported to them.
Large hollow aspen should also be reported because their hollows provide a home to various species in different years, including the black and other woodpeckers, Tengmalm’s owl, pygmy owl, flying squirrel, and bats. For biodiversity purposes, Metsä Group automatically excludes all aspen with a diameter exceeding 40 centimetres from harvesting.
If we come across a bird’s nest during forestry work, we save it and mark it on the map. This ensures that information about the nest moves forward along the chain. The nests can also be marked with special tape, but this is not done in the field because crows quickly catch on to it and find the nests.
Indicate nest boxes in Metsäverkko
Many forest owners put up nest boxes in the forest. Putting up a nest box always requires permission from the land owner. The boxes must also be regularly maintained. When it is time for harvesting, the forest owner can relocate a nest box that has been put up for small birds in the area to be harvested, as long as this is done well before the nesting season and harvesting.
A forest owner making long-term plans for forestry work may choose to place the nest box among future retention trees, in a buffer zone around a waterbody or in another natural site. If the location of the box is marked in Metsäverkko, it will remain both known and visible to the forest specialist.
Metsä Group has made and distributed tens of thousands of nest boxes to forest owners for free on the condition that they are actually put up in the forest.