Join the Nest Box Challenge
by Drucilla James
credit: Derek Belsey/BTO
Gardeners are being asked to help monitor the progress of nesting birds this spring.
The British Trust for Ornithology is keen to find out whether the bad weather has affected this year’s broods in their annual Nest Box Challenge (NBC) survey.
More and more birds are raising their families in urban gardens, according to the charity, with more than a third of blackbirds and 20% of blue tits now nesting in our villages, towns and cities.
And BTO Nest Box Challenge (NBC) results for last year suggest garden-breeding birds did better than those in the wider countryside – as they were less vulnerable to the decline in food sources such as the caterpillar, caused by the wet summer.
“If birds are increasingly foraging on non-native garden plants or relying more heavily on supplementary food, they may be less susceptible to the changes in the availability of more ‘traditional’ foodstuffs,” said Dr Dave Leech, Head of the Nest Record Scheme at the BTO.
You can join the survey by counting eggs and chicks in any nests in your garden, from collared doves on satellite dishes to blue tits in boxes, and entering the data on the NBC website.
Check out the details and the special Code of Conduct to make sure birds’ nesting attempts are not put at risk at http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nbc