09/02/2007
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Not yet – it's too early!

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Blue Tit: One of our most popular nest box inhabitants (photo: Sue Tranter).

Wednesday 14th February marks the start of National Nest Box Week, the time when the BTO asks people to provide homes for birds such as tits and sparrows. This year, Blue Tits across the country seem not to have read the calendar and many boxes are already occupied. The BTO would like to know what is happening in your garden (click here for more details).

National Nest Box Week provides a perfect introduction both to the world of nesting birds and to bird conservation. Each year, hundreds of people make new boxes for their Blue Tits and other garden tenants and thousands buy boxes to put up. This year, thanks to publicity from the BBC, the BTO hopes to increase these figures massively and to collect information on just how successful people are at attracting 'first-time buyers' to move into new homes.

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Blue Tit: (photo: Neil Atkinson).

Highlights of this year's National Nest Box Week celebrations include a special Nature's Calendar programme on BBC2 at 7pm on Monday 12th, nest-box making for children on Blue Peter and special nest box making events across the country, organised by BBC local radio stations. At each BBC event, 200 nest boxes will be given away free to those willing to make them.

Although National Nest Box Week does not start until 14th February, the BTO is keen to try to get to grips with the early-nesting Blue Tits by asking birdwatchers (with or without early birds) to register their gardens and nest boxes (whether old or new) online now (click here). As the breeding season develops, volunteers will be asked to report on which species move in and whether their birds breed successfully. Simple information about where each box is positioned and the garden in which it is located will help the BTO scientists to give even better advice on the provision of homes for birds in the future.

Written by: BTO