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New BTO Nestbox Guide

8th National Nest Box Week marked with publication?

The British Trust for Ornithology is using the opportunity of the 8th National Nest Box Week to launch a brand new publication The BTO Nestbox Guide. Illustrated in full-colour, this 77 page book contains a wealth of new material and is suitable for both the beginner and expert birdwatcher. Originally launched in 1997 by the late Chris Mead, under the slogan Britain Needs More Holes!, National Nest Box Week continues to highlight the need for the British public to put up suitable nestboxes for the nation`s birds.

Unfortunately many people have been disappointed when nestboxes they have put up have not been used. Chris du Feu, the author of the new book and a leading nestbox expert, has spent years gathering together information on different box designs. Chris said: Sadly you often see boxes which are damaging to birds` breeding prospects. In the book I have attempted to show what makes a good nestbox. These can often be made from very cheap or recycled wood.

NB Copies of the The BTO Nestbox Guide can be obtained for ?8.99 (including p&p) from Jacobi Jayne & Co, Freepost 1155, Canterbury, CT3 4BR. An information sheet about nest boxes is also available from this addressShortage of nest sites in the UK continues to be a real cause for concern for ornithologists. Loss of traditional holes in trees and houses may be partly due to the explosion of interest in home and garden improvements as popularised by many of the TV makeover shows. Even House Sparrow, formerly one of Britain`s commonest urban birds, is finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to its traditional nest holes under the now sanitised eaves of buildings. Recent studies by the BTO and others have also shown that House Sparrow numbers have declined nationally by more than 50% since 1968.

National Nest Box Week, which runs from 14 to 21 February, is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology together with the founding sponsor, Jacobi Jayne & Company. The week was chosen, because according to tradition, Valentine`s Day is the day when birds start pairing up before settling down to nest.2,964 weeks and Counting Nestboxes are not a new phenomenon. When schoolboy David Warden built a nestbox in 1947, little did he realise that the same box would still be in use over 50 years later! A very conservative estimate is that this box could have produced as many as 250 young tits since it was first put up. David is one of over 500 people who are monitoring 30,000 nests each year for the BTO Nest Record Scheme. The data gathered by this study provide a vital…For further information contact: Peter Beaven on (01842) 750050 or E-mail: peter.beaven@bto.org or Jeff Baker on (01842) 750050 or E-mail: jeff.baker@bto.org or Graham Appleton (Press Officer) on (01842) 750050 or E-mail: graham.appleton@bto.org office hours or Mobile 0797 4668503 (anytime)

4th July 2014