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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of old nest material in nest boxes on nest-site choice of tree swallows Tachycineta bicolor at Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, British Columbia, Canada

Published source details

Rendell W. & Verbeek N. (1996) Old nest material in nest boxes of tree swallows: effects on nest-site choice and nest building. The Auk, 113, 319-328


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Clean nest boxes to increase occupancy or reproductive success Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in marshland in 1991 in British Columbia, Canada (Rendell & Verbeek 1996), found that tree swallows Tachycineta bicolor preferentially nested in empty and clean boxes, but also preferred those where the old material had been microwaved to those with old, untouched nesting material (40 of 54 cleaned boxes used vs. 25 of 50 microwaved boxes and 13 of 54 untouched boxes). Pairs of boxes from different treatments were erected 3 m apart in tree swallow territories and which box was used was recorded.