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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Nest boxes increase local population densities of tawny owls Strix aluco and barn owls Tyto alba in pine forests in the UK

Published source details

Petty S.J., Shaw G. & Anderson D.I.K. (1994) Value of nest boxes for population studies and conservation of owls in coniferous forests in Britain. Journal of Raptor Research, 28, 134-142


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

Provide artificial nesting sites for owls Bird Conservation

Two before-and-after studies in pine forests in the UK (Petty et al. 1994) found local population increases in tawny owls Strix aluco and barn owls Tyto alba following the provision of nest boxes, although the authors note that the tawny owl population may have responded to an increased food supply. In 1980-91, 90-160 boxes were erected in an area of northeast England. All local birds used boxes by 1983 and the population increased from 40 to 66 pairs. At a site in southwest Scotland, 33-87 nest boxes were provided for barn owls in 1984-90. Resident birds did not move nest sites, but new breeders moved into the area and used boxes (37 pairs using boxes in 1988), increasing the population from five to approximately 42 pairs by 1993.