The evolution of nest-site selection among hole-nesting birds: the importance of nest predation and competition

  • Published source details Nilsson S.G. (1984) The evolution of nest-site selection among hole-nesting birds: the importance of nest predation and competition. Ornis Scandinavica, 15, 167-175.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

    A replicated study in 1972-80 (Nilsson 1984) found that predation of great tit Parus major and pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca clutches in a mixed forest in Kronoberg, Sweden, was significantly lower in nest boxes than in natural cavities (5% predation for 112 great tit clutches and 4% for 112 flycatcher clutches in boxes vs. 17% of 76 clutches and 23% for 31 clutches in natural nests). There were no differences in predation of blue tit P. caeruleus (alternatively Cyanistes caeruleus) or marsh tit P. palustris (alternatively Poecile palustris) clutches. Three wood nuthatches Sitta europaea nested in boxes, none of which were predated (compared to 6% predation of 113 clutches in natural nests). For the three tit species, woodpeckers were responsible for 48% of predation in boxes, compared with 17% in natural cavities.


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