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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Nestbox design influences territory occupancy and reproduction in a declining, secondary cavity-breeding bird

Published source details

Zingg S., Alletaz R. & Schaub M. (2010) Nestbox design influences territory occupancy and reproduction in a declining, secondary cavity-breeding bird. Ardea, 98, 67-75


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Provide nest boxes for birds Farmland Conservation

A replicated study from 2002 to 2008 of 625 nest boxes inside agricultural shacks and buildings in Valais, Switzerland (Zingg et al. 2010) found that 5% were occupied by Eurasian wryneck Jynx torquilla in 2008. Of the 269 monitored locations (2-3 boxes/location), 32 (12%) were occupied by a wryneck in 2008; 23 of those locations had a wryneck nest box. Within the occupied locations, 19 wryneck broods occurred in one of the 56 available Eurasian hoopoe Upupa epops nest boxes and 14 occurred in one of the 22 available wryneck nest boxes. Locations that had been occupied in the past had a higher probability of occupancy. The presence of hoopoes had no influence on the nest box choice. Wryneck nest boxes had no effect on reproductive output, however, in general, nestlings from broods in wryneck nest boxes had a higher body mass than those in hoopoe boxes (27 vs 25 g). The wryneck population inhabiting the hoopoe nest boxes declined from 72 broods in 2002 to 34 broods in 2007, potentially due to competition with the hoopoe population (1998: 20 broods, 2007: 160 broods). The study site was largely of fruit plantations, vineyards and vegetable cultures. A pair of hoopoe boxes were installed at each location from 1998 to 2003 and a further 135 wryneck boxes were installed at half of the locations in 2008.