On the Swiss embassy’s exterior, three pairs of house martins have built nests. The embassy personnel explicitly accepts them and leaves them alone so they can reproduce peacefully there.
This is not typical; swallow nests are frequently taken down by homeowners since the birds damage facades and leave behind dirt and droppings.
The Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) branch in Berlin has so presented the Swiss Embassy with the “Swallow-Friendly House” plaque.
There is, however, a basic issue driving the action. Not just swallow nests, but many other bird nests, are destroyed due to carelessness or malicious behavior. Since 2019, the state of Berlin has been funding a program that includes Nabu in order to protect them.
Among other people at Nabu, Nina Dommaschke is in charge of “species protection on the building.” The Nabu hosts a variety of informational programmes. The legal framework governing nature protection is disclosed to homeowners, housing associations, and building firms.
Birds, nests, and eggs are all legally protected.
Many people are unaware that nests, eggs, and birds are protected, and that it is illegal to destroy nests, remove eggs, or expel birds, according to Dommaschke. There is a chance that nests will be destroyed, especially in light of the fast rehabilitation of structures that is taking place. For instance, house sparrows build their nests in the attic.
Members of Nabu also let homeowners know when they see bird nests on their own façade.
According to Dommaschke, the Swiss embassy is even thinking about constructing a clay area close to the nests. For swallows to build their nests, clay is necessary. According to Dommaschke, “the fact that swallows are establishing nests atop a representative embassy building is a tremendous signal and illustrates that species protection and advanced architecture are by no means antagonistic.” For example, putting boards under the nests or laying out cardboard on balconies offered good dirt defense.
Barn swallows make their nests indoors, such as in stables or sheds, although they also do so beneath footbridges, in contrast to house martins, which prefer to nest on the exterior of buildings, such as under roof overhangs or on balconies, and are also at home in urban settings. Each species is losing ground. Currently, there are 800 pairs of barn swallows and roughly 4,000 pairs of house martins in Berlin. Insect mortality is one of the key causes of their decline. The bird’s food supply is robbed.