National Nest Box Week 2016 – Feb 14th – 21st.

Britain needs more nest boxes 

Nesting sites are disappearing due to the renovation of old buildings, the loss of woodland habitat and the increase in tidy gardens with a lack of suitable tree holes.  Anyone can help provide more space by putting up a nest box.

Different types of nest boxes can provide homes for different types of birds.  House Sparrows need a small-hole type nest box with a 32mm entrance hole.  Robins will use open fronted type nest boxes, preferably tucked away in a bit of cover. You can even provide nesting space for House Martins by fixing an artificial nesting cup just below the eaves.

Your nest box can provide valuable data to scientists monitoring UK bird populations.  Nest Box Challenge which is free to join, involves regularly looking in your box and using an online form to report any eggs or chicks inside.  Data on how well birds are breeding in our changing climate is vitally important and will be used to direct conservation efforts.

Hazel Evans, Nest Box Challenge Organiser at the BTO, said “Nest boxes give us the opportunity to easily collect data on the breeding success of cavity nesting birds which can be difficult to collect from natural cavities.  We need people with nest boxes to tell us what is happening in those boxes during the breeding season.  So, if you have a nest box you can help”

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Do – Buy a box made of insulating material such as wood or woodcrete, and of a sufficient thickness (no less than 15mm).  Choose a box which allows easy access to look at the contents.  Get your box up before or during NNBW so it’s ready for prospecting birds.

Don’t – Put your box in direct sunlight, this can cause the contents to overheat.  Use a box with a perch, these can allow access to predators such as squirrels.  Place the box close to bird feeder; visiting birds could disturb the nesting pair.

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