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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Comparison of use of nest boxes filled with wood shavings or left unfilled, by tits Parus spp. at Culbin Forest, Nairnshire, Scotland

Published source details

Summers R.W. & Taylor W.G. (1996) Use by tits of nest boxes of different designs in pinewoods. Bird Study, 43, 138-141


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 songbirds Bird Conservation

Three replicated trials in pine forests in north and east Scotland (Summers & Taylor 1996) found that tits Parus spp., with the exception of crested tits P. cristatus preferentially nested in deep nest boxes over shallow ones and empty boxes over those filled with wood shavings. In 1991, trials at two sites found that, of 50 pairs of nest boxes erected (one ‘deep’: 12 x 8 x 25 cm; one ‘shallow’: 11.5 x 10.5 x 15 cm), 15 of the deep boxes were occupied (eight by great tits P. major, five by blue tits P. caeruleus and two by coal tits P. ater) with only a single shallow box occupied by a pair of crested tits. In 1993-4, a second trial at one site found that, of 83 pairs of nest boxes erected (one empty, one with wood shavings, all of the ‘deep’ design), 23 empty boxes were occupied (16 by great tits, four by blue tits and three by coal tits), compared to 12 filled boxes (eleven by crested tits and one by great tits).