Give a bird a home - National Nest Box Week 14-21 February 2013

No.:  2013-07
February 2013

Valentine’s Day 2013 will see the start of the sixteenth annual National Nest Box Week (NNBW), organised by the British Trust for Ornithology and sponsored by Jacobi Jayne, during which people across the UK are being asked to put up nest boxes for our birds.

Blue Tit by Christine M Matthews/BTO

The summer of 2012 proved to be one of the worst breeding seasons on record for many of our most familiar birds. With rainfall totals for April and June being the highest ever recorded, many species struggled to raise young.

With caterpillars in short supply, a result of the cool, wet weather, Blue and Great Tits fledged fewer chicks, 13% and 18% respectively, the second lowest productivity recorded for Great Tit in almost 50 years. The poor 2012 season could have a lasting effect. Many fewer young birds fledged, and the recent freezing conditions and prolonged snow cover won’t have helped the survival rates of those that did.

It’s not all bad news though. Many of our smaller birds, like the Blue and Great Tit, are able to produce large numbers of young and so have the capacity to bounce back quickly after a single bad year. All they need is somewhere warm and safe to build a nest, and some kind spring weather.

Paul Stancliffe, British Trust for Ornithology, said, “Putting a nest box up is one of the easiest of things that we can do to help. Whether it is a homemade box or a specially designed box that has been purchased, the joy of seeing it occupied is exactly the same. Even if it isn’t used to raise a brood of youngsters it could still be used as a safe warm overnight roost. So go on, put up a nest box this National Nest Box Week and do your bit to help.”

NNBW aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.

Whether you’re a family with space for a box in your garden, a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group, or you belong to a bird club and could organise a work party, National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract.

More than 60 species of birds have been recorded using nest boxes. Most commonly, Blue and Great Tits, House Sparrows and Starlings will use the typical round hole design, while Robins and Spotted Flycatchers prefer open-fronted boxes. House Sparrows, Starlings and Spotted Flycatchers are all red-listed species of conservation concern.

Visit the National Nest Box Week website for more information on nesting birds, choosing bird boxes, or building your own. NNBW is organised in partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology and Jacobi Jayne http://www.livingwithbirds.com/

Please visit the following links for information on the different types of nest boxes and where to put them.

Notes for Editors

  1. NNBW is an annual event during which people are encouraged to provide nesting space for birds. NNBW was first launched in 1997 by BTO and Jacobi Jayne.
  2. The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Bangor (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations. www.bto.org

Contact Details

Paul Stancliffe
(BTO Media Manager)

Office: 01842 750050
(9am to 5.30pm)
Mobile: 07585 440910 (anytime)
Email: press [at] bto.org

Jeff Baker
(BTO Head of Marketing)

Office: 01842 750050
(9am to 5.30pm)
Email: press [at] bto.org

Images are available for use alongside this News Release.  Please contact images [at] bto.org quoting reference 2013-07

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