National Nest Box Week
National Nest Box Week is an annual event that takes place every year from the 14th to 21st February. It has been running for 20 years and is now an important part of the ornithological calendar. St Valentine’s Day was chosen for the start of National Nest Box Week as this is the traditional date when birds pair up for the new breeding season.
The aim of National Nest Box Week is to encourage people to put up nest boxes to help breeding birds to help promote the conservation and diversity of wildlife.
Natural nest sites such as holes in trees and buildings are disappearing fast as people have carried out home and garden improvements and woods have been “tidied up”. Since National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997 thousands of nature enthusiasts across the UK have put up boxes to compensate and give a home for the birds in their garden. It is estimated that there are about 6 million nest boxes in UK gardens.
If you haven’t already got a nest box then read our advice about choosing and siting one and then take a look at our selection of nest boxes available to buy online. These bird boxes come in a range of designs and prices to suit all kinds of gardens and budgets.
This year when choosing your nest box why not help a Species of Conservation Concern, such as house sparrows?
It is becoming harder for house sparrows to find suitable nesting sites, particularly in the roofs of modern houses. House sparrows breed in loose colonies, so try putting up several boxes a few feet apart or choose specially designed sparrow flats where up to 3 breeding pairs can nest together.
If you’ve already got a bird box then take the opportunity to carry out some maintenance on your box to get it prepared for when your feathered friends are ready to move in.
As part of National Nest Box Week the BTO is asking people to monitor their nest boxes and take part in the Nest Box Challenge. Once you’ve put your nest box up let the BTO know what sort of habitat it is in and record what species build their nests in it and the number of eggs and chicks at regular intervals throughout the breeding season.
Remember it is illegal to disturb any nesting bird wild birds are protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. You can find out more about the Nest Box Challenge over on the BTO’s website.