During the BTO National Nest Box Week, Feb 14-21, members of the Gravesend Group were on hand for two days at Millbrook Garden Centre to give help and advice on nest boxes and feeding garden birds.
NNBW aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds.
For two days we tried to answer customers questions such as when and where to site a nest box, what type of box to use for what garden bird and why perhaps, the birds are not using a box. Malcolm led groups on ‘tours’ to see the great variety of nest boxes placed around the garden centre and to show visitors the birds using the site. On show was the robin than spends all of it’s time in an internal section of the store searching for food amongst the pot plants (it could easily fly out whenever it wanted to), also on show were the blue tits, great tits, goldfinch and many other bird species visible from the bird watching hide. One lucky group witnessed a pair of sparrowhawks displaying over the centre and it was even a first for Malcolm to see the male “sky dance” with closed wings above the female. Sally and Julie manned the RSPB advice table, where there were nest boxes for sale. It was wonderful to see such a huge amount of interest in helping wild birds to survive in our gardens.
The natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. Since National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997, thousands of enthusiastic naturalists across the UK have put up boxes to compensate for this loss. It is estimated that there are now 5-6 million boxes in gardens across the UK.
National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your garden.
So if you think you have space for a nest box it’s still not too late!
Thanks to Graham and the other Millbrook staff for making us welcome.