About Nest Box Challenge

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 box(es)/nest(s) in your garden or local area and record what's inside at regular intervals during the breeding season.

Why are we doing Nest Box Challenge?

As the countryside becomes more and more developed, so the nation's gardens play an increasingly important role in supporting British bird populations, providing food, shelter and nesting sites. It is therefore vital that we keep a close eye on bird populations in rural, suburban and urban areas in the same way that we would birds in woodlands and farmland, particularly as numbers of several garden bird species, such as House Sparrow and Starling, have fallen in the last few decades.

Gardens are amongst the most intensively watched habitats in the country. 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.

How to get involved

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. Please see the Taking Part page to get started.

Where to get advice on putting boxes up

Advice on building nest boxes can be found here. For advice on siting, erecting and maintaining nest boxes, please see here.