Talk:Tag:natural=birds nest

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Mapping considerations

In general mapping bird's nests has many problems:

  • It may expose information about nesting locations of vulnerable species in such a way that it endangers them.
  • Most birds nest in different locations every year, nests are natural objects & fall apart quickly. In general we do not map ephemeral objects. Your choice of A Reed Warbler nest to illustrate the article is particularly inappropriate as these nest several times each year in vegetation which will be gone by the following year.
  • In most European countries it is an offence to disturb a birds nest.
  • There are far too many of them (100s of millions / year in most European countries.
  • Mapping birds nests may bring opprobium on the OSM community from Bird Protection societies.

That being said, I think we have established that the following types of breeding places of birds may be mapped:

  • Permanent breeding colonies of colonial species, such as many sea birds. These will usually be highly noticeable and mappable at all times of year because of guano deposits. Examples: Penguins, Gannetries, some Raptors (in protected sites only).
  • Nests on deliberately built structures for the purpose (e.g., for Storks, or Ospreys).
  • Artifical banks for Sand Martins and other hirundines.

Things which are less clear-cut:

  • Rookeries: often occupied for long periods.
  • Heronries: ditto, but my local one moved dramatically 10 years ago and is now so dispersed that mapping it would be futile.
  • Swift & Hirundine colonies: largely associated with man-made structures (e.g, Alpine Swifts at Helvetiaplatz, Zurich), Swifts & Red-rumped Swallows on bridges across the Tagus in Monfrague.

Broadly speaking it is colonies which are a useful mapping unit, not individual nesting sites.

There are a couple of useful discussions on OSM Help: Note that I've said the same things as here a few times before. SK53 (talk) 20:34, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

Hello, thanks for the insight. Note that I'm usually adding wiki pages to document established tagging practices based on Taginfo. You can view the Taginfo establishment of a given article on the right sidebar. So it is usually not in my power to influence what decisions other will make. Bkil (talk) 20:50, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Fine, I'll add a very explicit warning then. Firstly, I wanted to ensure that you were aware of the issues just in case you were planning on mapping any. Second, please do change the image. SK53 (talk) 11:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I like the new image. I didn't put much effort into finding the original one. I've also copied this discussion to the tag's discussion, so it will be more visible. Bkil (talk) 19:35, 1 August 2018 (UTC)


@User:Mateusz_Konieczny: I don't agree with mixing these two tags, but let's discuss what you had in mind. -Bkil (talk) 14:35, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

100% natural bird nest on 100% man made nesting platform - see for example Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 17:16, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

In OpenStreetMap, we primarily aim at mapping by function, not by molecules. So the main motivation behind this tag is:

  • You must be extra careful when you map a natural birds nest (to protect to species)
  • Nesting platforms are usually constructed for a given range of (less endangered) species and they are usually maintained (checked for species and relocated as needed), sometimes feeding is also provided
  • A natural birds nest is usually ephemeral, usually wouldn't last more than a season
  • A man made nesting platform is a rigid structure that is stable for many decades

Hence I don't see any confusion nor intersection between the two. Could you please elaborate so I can better understand your viewpoint? -Bkil (talk) 19:02, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

What exactly you mean by "mixing these two tags"? What you think about type of tagging documented at ? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 17:08, 8 May 2020 (UTC)