Roosting Survey - now finished
To find out which species roost in garden nest boxes and roosting pouches during winter.
The long winter nights can be perilous for small birds, their large surface area to volume ratio meaning that they loose heat more easily than larger ones. Small birds are also at risk from predators during the day and so can ill-afford to carry large food reserves as they approach the long, cold night.
Small birds reduce their nocturnal energetic expenditure by fluffing out their feathers to trap air and by huddling together. Cavities are a great place for many species to congregate and, with some 4.7 million nest boxes in UK gardens, householders have created a huge network of cosy garden bedrooms.
How important are these nest boxes to roosting birds? Towns and cities are warmer than the wider countryside so garden nest boxes could be the ideal place for many birds to get some kip.
Thanks to all of you who took part in the survey. Please see the results here >>>
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BTO science contributes to our understanding of future scenarios, and informing policies and conservation management strategies to help species adapt.
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BTO volunteer Hugh Tooby shares his journey through Shetland as part of the Upland Rovers scheme.