Action: Provide artificial nesting sites for oilbirds
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A before-and after-study in Trinidad and Tobago found an increase in size of an oilbird colony following the creation of artificial nesting ledges.
Oilbirds Steatornis capripensis are a unique, nocturnal species in their own family Steatornithidae, related to nightjars, potoos and frogmouths. However, unlike their relatives oilbirds feed entirely on fruit and nest and roost in caves in northern and central South America. It is thought that the availability of nesting and roosting sites in these caves may limit populations, although increasing habitat destruction is also threatening the species (Thomas 1999).
Thomas, B.T. (1999) Family Steatornithidae (oilbird). Handbook of the birds of the world: Volume 5, Barn owls to hummingbirds (eds Hoyo, J, Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J.), pp. 244–252. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and after-study at a colony of oilbirds Steatornis capripensis nesting in a cave at the Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad (Lambie 1993), found that the population increased from 25-30 birds to more than 100 individuals and 43 nests by 1977 following the installation of artificial concrete ledges in 1967-1968. Before this, the colony appeared limited in size by the 15 or 16 ledge nest sites available. In 1977, 21 of the nests were on artificial ledges.