Nest Box Challenge
Nest Box Challenge gathers valuable data on breeding birds by asking volunteers to monitor the birds in their garden through the breeding season
Nest Box Challenge gives you the opportunity to help us learn more about nesting birds in the UK. Anyone can take part - all you need to do is register the nest boxes or nests in your garden or local area and record what's inside at regular intervals during the breeding season. By asking anyone with a box / nest in their garden to monitor it for Nest Box Challenge, we can build up an incredibly detailed picture of the breeding success of garden nesting birds across the UK. The information collected can be used to understand more about why some species are increasing while others are declining, and to help us find out whether warmer weather and the provision of food can make a difference to the number of chicks that birds are able to raise. In order to take part, you simply need to register and answer a few questions about the garden or green space in which your box / nest is sited and a bit about the box / nest itself. You will then be able to record details of any birds you see using the box / nest and even what you find when you look inside the nest.
- Register your box as soon as possible – you don’t have to wait until a bird uses it.
- Monitor your boxes at regular intervals throughout the season and record what happens. We want to know about successful nests, nests that fail, and empty boxes.
- Tell us if your nest box is empty. We really want to know about boxes that aren't used as well as those that are so we can work out how often they are occupied.
- Keep checking your box until the end of August – most nest box species don’t fledge chicks until the beginning of June, and some species may have a second brood in the summer.
Time / skill required
- February - Make sure Nest Boxes are in place as birds start to look for a safe place to raise their brood
- March - Some garden birds such as Blackbirds will start nesting
- April - June - Many garden birds including Blue and Great Tits will nest during this time
- September - Nest boxes should be cleaned out over the winter ready for the following Spring