Bird Survey Guidelines for assessing ecological impacts

These guidelines are intended for use by ornithologists and ecological consultants who engage in bird surveys for the purpose of assessing ecological impacts including Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).

The guidelines have been provided as a web resource to ensure that updates and the provision of additional information can occur on a regular basis. As such this website takes a modular approach and will be added to over time. They are currently only intended for use within the UK.

Feedback is welcomed (via the Get in Touch button) and users are encouraged to provide any evidence that they may have in order to help refine these guidelines.

When referring to these guidelines in reports or other publications please cite the following reference:

Bird Survey & Assessment Steering Group. (2023). Bird Survey Guidelines for assessing ecological impacts, v.1.1.1. [date accessed]



Explore the guidance materials


The purpose of these guidelines and their intended audience.


Determining when a project requires bird surveys and the form that these should take.


Details of survey methodologies


The appropriate collection, handling and archiving of bird survey data


An outline of the legislation relating to wild birds across the UK.

Additional Resources

Supplementary information including links and examples

WEBINAR: Bird Survey Guidelines spread their wings

This webinar was originally presented to RSK Biocensus staff, suppliers and clients as part of the First Thursday Club webinars. We have posted it here as it gives a good introduction to why the bird survey guidelines were needed, what they currently contain and our ambitions for the future. It is presented by Dr Tim Hounsome, Managing Director of RSK Biocensus, but he is also part of the Bird Survey and Assessment Steering group that are behind the development of these guidelines.