As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

It’s not too late to Give Nature a Home! -via Morwenna Griffiths

Media Release


It’s not too late to Give Nature a Home!
RSPB encourages people to put up nestboxes
Morwenna Griffiths, from the RSPB said, "March sweeps in with a welcome promise of spring and the first early morning flutters of the dawn chorus tuning up are heard.  Song thrushes harmonise with blackbirds and robins, as they begin to mark their individual territories and endeavour to serenade a mate in time for the breeding season.

"Birds behave skittishly over the next few weeks – blackbirds fight it out for a nesting patch and dopey doves might be seen hanging upside down in trees.  It’s all down to hormones; an increase in prolactein starts to trigger changes in birds at this time of year.  Milder weather, more invertebrates etc to eat and longer daylight hours all signal to birds that it’s time to start buddying up with those proverbial bees.

"Nestboxes are excellent substitutes for natural nesting holes, which may be scarce in gardens.  Encourage a bird to nest in your patch of green by putting up a nestbox - make your own or purchase a pre-made box from a range of reputable outlets including the RSPB and other wildlife charities.  RSPB nextboxes are made from FSC timber and have several important features such as: drainage holes to prevent water-logging and a perch-free entrance with a deep chamber - to keep predators out.

"Blue and great tits, house sparrows, starlings, robins, wrens and house martins are most likely to take up your ‘LET’, but the species of bird you attract depends on the, the box’s shape, where you position it and the size of the hole:

"Of course some garden birds don’t nest in cavities, finches and thrushes hide their open cup nests in vegetation.  So another great way to open your home to wildlife is by planting a range of native trees, shrubs and climbers – they make great nesting and feeding habitats."

The RSPB is also keen to remind people that sparrows and starlings are in serious decline. Putting a nestbox high in the eaves will help local populations (entrance hole 32 mm for sparrows, 45 mm for starlings and larger box).
For more information visit:

For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Tony Whitehead, RSPB Press Officer, 01392 453754, 07872 414365

Images to support this story are available from RSPB Images.
To access an image, please click on the hyperlink below and then enter the user name and password when prompted.

User Name: Nestbsw
Password: Nestbsw1

Nestbox hole-sizes and box positions preferred by different species:  (You may wish to include this as a fact box)
·         25mm blue and coal tits -
·         28mm great tits, tree sparrows, pied flycatchers –
Fixed 2-4m up a tree or wall, faced between north and east. The aspect must avoid hot midday sun and wet winds. make sure the bird has a clear flight path to the nest.

·         32mm house sparrows and nuthatches
·         45mm starlings
Prefer boxes sited high up under the eaves. Sparrows nest in loose colonies, so place 2-3 of these boxes a meter apart.

·         Open-fronted box, robins and wrens
This needs to be low down, below 2m and hidden out of sight.

Sent by:
Morwenna Griffiths
Reserves & Premises Co-ordinator

RSPB South West Regional Office, Keble House, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter, Devon. EX1 1NT
Tel 01392 453767

The RSPB is the countrys largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

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