Study

Effect of nest box construction on occupancy and breeding success of tits Parus spp. in a farmland landscape at Hilborough, Norfolk, England

  • Published source details Browne S.J. (2006) Effect of nestbox construction and colour on the occupancy and breeding success of nesting tits Parus spp. Bird Study, 53, 187-192

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide nest boxes for birds

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide nest boxes for birds

    A replicated trial in arable farming landscapes in Norfolk, England, in the summers of 1997-2001 (Browne 2006) found that tits Parus spp. nested in a higher proportion of hanging woodcrete boxes (38% of 48 boxes occupied), compared to tree-mounted woodcrete boxes (25% of 48) or thick and thin wooden boxes (20% and 16% of 48 boxes respectively). Patterns were the same for great tit Parus major, blue tit P. (Cyanistes) caeruleus and all species combined (also including coal tit P. (Periparus) ater and marsh tit P. (Poecile) palustris), although a higher proportion of great tits used woodcrete boxes (91% of great tits vs 47% of blue tits). Clutch size, brood size and number of young fledged by blue tits and great tits did not differ significantly between box types. Woodcrete boxes were either attached to a tree trunk (18 cm high, base 18 cm diameter) or free-hanging (19 cm high, base 11 cm diameter). Wooden boxes were 16.5 x 15 x 19.5 cm, and of either 1.9 cm or 2.4 cm thick wood. All designs had a 3.2 cm diameter entrance. Another trial found that a higher proportion of tit Parus spp. nests were in 50 green nest boxes (72% of 41 nests) than in 50 brown boxes (28%), and in 50 boxes with circular entrances (68%) compared to those with a wedge-shaped entrance (32%).

     

  2. Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

    A replicated trial in arable farming landscapes in Norfolk, England, in the summers of 1997-2001 (Browne 2006) found that tits Parus spp. nested in a higher proportion of hanging woodcrete boxes (38% 48 boxes occupied), compared to tree-mounted woodcrete boxes (25% of 48) or thick and thin wooden boxes (20% and 16% of 48 boxes respectively). Patterns were the same for great tits Parus major, blue tits P. caeruleus (also Cyanistes caeruleus) and all species combined (also including coal tits P. ater (also Periparus ater) and marsh tits P. palustris (also Poecile palustris)), although a higher proportion of great tits used woodcrete boxes (91% of great tits vs. 47% of blue tits). Clutch size, brood size and number of young fledged by blue tits and great tits did not differ significantly between box types. Woodcrete boxes were either attached to a tree trunk (18 cm high, base 18 cm diameter) or free-hanging (19 cm high, base 11 cm diameter). Wooden boxes were 16.5 x 15 x 19.5 cm, and of either 1.9 cm or 2.4 cm thick wood. All designs had a 3.2 cm diameter entrance. Another trial found that a higher proportion of tit Parus spp. nests were in 50 green nest boxes (72% of 41 nests) than in 50 brown boxes (28%), and in 50 boxes with circular entrances (68%) compared to those with a wedge-shaped entrance (32%).

     

Output references

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