Friday, 8 February 2008

National Nest Box Week

NATIONAL NEST BOX WEEK
February 14-21


National Nest Box Week was launched, in the UK, in 1997 on a very easy date to remember. It began on Valentine's Day! It runs every year during the same week.

Until last year, I will be honest and say I knew nothing about it! Last year was the second year I had ever put up a Nestbox. Two years ago we put up a terrace Nestbox for house sparrows which was used by a blue tit pair. Last year, as you may have already read, we put up a Nestbox with a camera in it and blue tits used it too. On their website they say:
‘National Nest Box Week takes place each year from 14-21 February to focus the nation’s attention on the provision of nest boxes for Britain’s birds and other wildlife. After 10 years it is now an established part of the ornithological calendar.’

Who runs it?
‘It is organised each year by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Britain’s leading bird research charity, whose work primarily involves studying the populations of our common and garden birds. The founding sponsor and co-organiser is Jacobi Jayne & Co., Britain’s nest box specialists, who created the idea of National Nest Box Week together with the late Chris Mead of the BTO.’

What is its aim?
‘The aim of National Nest Box Week is to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes to help our breeding birds and other wildlife.’ The natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. Since National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997 thousands of enthusiastic naturalists across the UK have put up boxes to compensate for this loss. It is estimated that there are now 5-6 million boxes in gardens across the UK.’

What about outside the UK?
Well, that I have no idea about but I might know a few people who do. So, if you are a visitor from outside the UK I invite you to leave a comment telling me what you do in your area of the world and I’ll add a link at the end of this post.

Finally, putting up Nestboxes can really be done at any time of the year. In winter you may even get birds roosting in it as we have had. Another thought too, perhaps this would be a nice project for a group to do like a school class. I am certain every single Nestbox that is put up really does make a difference.

3 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi SHirl. I put up several nest boxes. The Carolina and House Wrens always use them.

I am sorry to tell you but the House Sparrow is a pest in our area. I don't encourage them here. They kill the young of the wrens and try to take over their nest boxes.

I also have a bluebird box out. Nothing but House Sparrows have gone into it. Every year I hope for a Bluebird to come calling. It hasn't happened yet.

shirl said...

Hi again, Lisa :-)

Oh… I’d love if the wrens would use one of my nestboxes! Yes, I got that impression about the house sparrows from a few American blogs. Here, the house sparrow is in serious decline – it just shows how different species exist across the world.

I bet it would be fantastic to see the bluebirds use your nestboxes – I would love to see it too :-D

Sue Halston said...

Hi Shirl,

We have placed a couple of bird boxes with cameras from a company in Cornwall, after reading your interesting blog. 'Why didn't we do this years ago'.

The best thing is that we are helping the birds as well as enjoying the action during national nest box week and beyond.

Sue