The 2012 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch/Big Schools Birdwatch results have been published, this was something that we took part in on 28th/29th January. Just under 600,000 people took part and counted over 9 million birds, of over 70 species, in 285,440 gardens across the UK. In first place was the House Sparrow, second was the Starling, and third was the Blue Tit. Although second place, sadly, this survey revealed that Starlings are at an all time low, they were seen in fewer than half of the gardens with an average of three per garden. Research is now underway to find out more about their decline and they have now been placed on the red list as a bird of high conservation concern.
To help this stunning glossy purple/green speckled bird why not put up a Starling Nest Box, designed specifically for the Starling it has a larger entrance hole and more space inside. It is still not too late to put up any type of Nest Box.
We have a multitude of nest boxes on the sides of our house (as it’s a semi-detached there is plenty of space) at the front we have a Single House Martin Nest Box ready for their return from Africa (these are proving very popular at the moment and our stocks at The Recycleworks are going out within days of arriving especially the Double Chamber House Martin Boxes) unfortunately last year the returning House Martins didn’t get a look in as the House Sparrows had occupied it first, so instead they built their own nests on our neighbours house across the road. They are elegant birds with their distinct white rump and forked tail, it’s lovely to hear them ‘chatter’ to each other.
Curiously there’s no shortage of nest boxes for the Sparrows, as at the back of the house there are nine single Nest Boxes spaced out in a terrace and a three chamber House Sparrow Terrace Nest Box, two of the chambers are being used by House Sparrows as are two of the single boxes. We have got a Nest Box Camera in one of these boxes and last year we were thrilled to watch eggs being laid, and the chicks hatching and being fed by their parents - what a privilege. One of the single boxes had a wasp nest in last year and I believe Bumble Bees also nest in them. At the side of the house we have another single nest box and two Swift Boxes (homemade) again all these are occupied by House Sparrows, we have quite an increasing colony which is lovely, but they do torment our poor cat ‘Bramble’.
So why not put up some bird boxes you never know who will make their home in them!
Love your wildlife