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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Creating ‘high’ stumps to provide potential nest sites for crested tits Parus cristatus at Abernethy Forest RSPB Reserve, Inverness-shire, Scotland

Published source details

Denny R.E. & Summers R.W. (1996) Nest site selection, management and breeding success of crested tits Parus cristatus at Abernethy Forest, Strathspey. Bird Study, 43, 371-379


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

Use ring-barking (girdling), cutting or silvicides to produce snags Bird Conservation

A before-and-after study in Highland, Scotland (Denny & Summers 1996), found that, by 1994, no crested tits Parus cristatus used any of 30 tree stumps created between 1981 and 1989 to provide nesting habitats. Stumps were made by cutting trees 1-1.2 m from the ground and were supposed to rot to allow tits to excavate nesting sites. Investigating natural nest sites, the authors found that natural nests were both much higher (average of 7.3 m above ground) and in much larger trees (average diameter at breast height of 41 cm vs. 20-26 cm). They also argue that the trees probably needed more time to rot.