BTO National Nest Box Week; a lifeline for UK’s nesting birds

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Following last year’s poor breeding season for birds nesting in the UK, the BTO is calling for more people to support National Nest Box Week.

 

Nest boxes can help improve breeding success – under CC license

 

Now in its 20th year, National Nest Box Week, which runs from 14th to 21st February, is a great opportunity for you to help breeding birds. The BTO is encouraging anyone from home-owners to schools, businesses and wildlife groups to put nesting boxes up in suitable spaces.

“One of the limiting factors for breeding birds is available nest sites”

Last year was a particularly hard year for many of our breeding birds. Low temperatures and high rainfall during the peak breeding period hit them hard. The number of chicks produced by great tits fell by 22%. Blue tits fared even worse with chick numbers down by 31%.

Providing nest boxes can help the birds significantly in the 2017 season. Jeff Baker, of the BTO comments, “One of the limiting factors for breeding birds is available nest sites, and carefully placed nest boxes can provide the birds with exactly what they need. Putting up a box now will mean the birds have time to find them before the start of the breeding season. Whatever weather spring 2017 brings us, having a warm, dry and secure nest site can help Blue Tits and other familiar garden birds.”

It is not only the birds that benefit. Seeing birds fledge from a next box, you have provided, is an enormously satisfying experience.

National Nest Box Week is one of the BTO’s longest running schemes. It was introduced 20 years ago by the late Chris Mead, of the BTO with support from Jacobi Jayne & Co.

You could also get involved in the BTO Garden BirdWatch project and monitor birds in your garden all year round.

 

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BTO Garden BirdWatch

Related article: UK 2016 breeding season a washout!