Ekko – Four legs and a superb nose!

Carrying out works during the bird breeding season involves lots and lots of searching. However, whilst most foresters spend the majority of their time looking up, some sites we work don’t have a tree in sight but the searching required is equally as diligent albeit focussed on the ground.

This is true of one site in Scotland where, in order to avoid damage to nesting birds, the ground was walked by the Site Supervisor and one of our Ecology Team prior to the start of works. The area holds a number of breeding Skylarks and Meadow Pipits and so the need to locate and mark nests was critical. This was no easy task – the proverbial needle in a haystack.

However, we had a secret weapon – a two year old Wire-haired Vizsla called Ekko. She has been trained to sweep the ground and detect and point-out nests. Ekko was set to work. Once she had located a nest location it was marked and the contractors informed and instructed to avoid.

It was a delight to watch our four legged friend and her nose help preserve our feathered species in this way.


Ekko working the ground to detect breeding birds.

Meadow Pipit nest with three chicks.

Ekko taking a well-earned rest.