Five kestrel chicks at the top of a 150ft chimney stack are delaying work on part of a £350m gas terminal development.
The nest was discovered by workmen about to start erecting scaffolding at the St Fergus gas terminal in Buchan.
Shell is undertaking a major refit at the site and work on the column is being delayed until the chicks leave.
It could be another three months before they fly the nest. Workers will continue the refurbishment elsewhere.
A Grampian Police wildlife liaison officer was contacted along with Shell's own environmental office to ensure the correct procedures were followed.