Recording an empty box

If you've been keeping an eye on a nest box and it hasn't been used by birds all season, you might think you have nothing to report to NBC. But in fact, we need to know about empty boxes just as much as occupied ones. Unless we have information on both, we can't find out how often nest boxes are used by birds.

Don't wait to register your nest box

If you've monitored or plan to monitor a nest box this season and you haven't registered it yet, please do so now. It doesn't matter if the nest box isn't occupied right now or has stayed empty all season—we still want to know about it. To find out how to register a box, please see here.

Send us regular updates, even when the box is empty

You might think it's enough to register your nest box and only send updates when you see something interesting. Then if we hear nothing, we will know your box was empty. Actually, if we don't receive updates about a nest box, we can't tell whether it was empty all season or simply not watched. Therefore, even when you watch/inspect your nest box and find it empty, please login to NBC Data Home and let us know.

To report that your box is empty at any time, please follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to Nest Box Challenge Data Home
  2. At the Nest Box Challenge Data Home page, select My observations.
  3. Now select Enter my observations question route.
  4. At the next page, select the nest box you wish to report on and provide the date you watched/examined the box. Then select Continue & record observation.
  5. The next page asks What did you see on this date? If you looked inside your box, tick yes at question 1 and then select no when you are asked whether there was a nest in the box. If you did not look inside the box, select no and then at question 2 again select no (see picture below).

  6.  Click the button Submit observation details.
  7. A new window will appear, asking you to confirm your visit details. Please check and then click the button Confirm visit details.

 

If you haven't given any updates so far...

If it is now the end of the season and you haven't been reporting on your empty nest box, you can still send us all your observations for the season now. To record all your observations about an empty box at once, please follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to Nest Box Challenge Data Home
  2. At the Nest Box Challenge Data Home page, select My observations.
  3. Now select Enter my observations form route.
  4. At the next window, select the nest box you wish to provide information about and then click Continue and record observations.
  5. At the next window, click on the drop-down box below the heading species and select box unused. Then click Continue and record observations.
  6. A table will appear, with each row representing a day when you watched or looked inside the next box. Here you can record the days when you checked the box and found it empty. If you cannot remember every single date you checked the box, do not worry, but please do record a selection of dates over the course of the season.
  7. If you looked inside the box and always found it empty, you can enter the visit details as in the picture below. For each visit, enter the date, 'Y' for the Obs code and 'N0' for Nest. If you observed the box from a distance but saw no evidence of activity, please record the dates and select 'N' for Obs code and 'N0' for Nest. Then click Continue and record observations.

  8. A new window will appear, asking you to confirm your visit details. Please check and then click the button Confirm visit details.