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Putting up a bird nest box

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National Nest Box Week 2018

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6th February 2018

The 21st National Nest Box Week (NNBW) will start on Valentine’s Day (Wednesday, 14th February). The event encourages people across Britain to put up a nest box and provide a family home for our birds.

Mid-February is when birds across the country begin to pair up, or get back together, for the forthcoming breeding season. Their search to find a safe place in which to build a nest and raise a family begins in earnest.

More than 20 different bird species regularly use nest boxes: from Blue Tits, which use the ‘standard’ small-hole type of nest box, to larger birds like the Barn Owl, that use a much larger nest box with a much bigger entrance hole.

Hazel Evans, the BTO Nest Box Challenge (NBC) Organiser, said, “It is amazing how much of a difference can be made by the simple act of putting up a nest box. Both the House Sparrow and the Starling have shown dramatic declines in recent years. By putting up a nest box we can help provide the space they need to build a nest. For House Sparrows a nest box with a 32mm entrance hole is what is needed, and for Starlings a slightly larger box with a 45mm entrance hole is ideal.”

No garden is too small for a nest box, and in the case of the House Sparrow and the Starling all you need is a little space high up on the wall of the house. If you have the space you can pop up a number of boxes in your garden.

Blue Tit Nesting

A few Nest Box Do’s and Don’ts
Do
• Do buy a box made of insulating material such as wood or woodcrete, and of a sufficient thickness (no less than 15mm).
• Do choose a box which allows easy access to look at the contents.
• Do get your box up before or during NNBW so it’s ready for prospecting birds.
Don’t
• Don’t site your box where it will be in full sunlight, you don’t want your birds to overheat.
• Don’t use a box with a perch. These can allow access to predators such as squirrels.
• Don’t place the box close to a bird feeder, as visiting birds could disturb the nesting pair.

Even if your nest box isn’t used to raise a family it might still be used as a safe, warm and dry space to roost overnight. So, go on, put up a nest box this National Nest Box Week!

Win a Cedar Nest Box Triple Pack (the officical NNBW Nest Box) in our February 2018 Competition.


Related Internet Links:
British Trust for Ornithology
BTO Garden BirdWatch

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