The BTO ( British Trust for Ornithology ) has launched a new survey in the last few days which aims to extend our knowledge of where birds roost in winter, the extent to which they utilise nestboxes and whether they do so communally.
Plummeting temperatures provide an extensive hazard to birds when they are required to withstand a night that can extend to almost 16 hours in duration at the very height of winter. With feeding conditions very often also being at their most extreme the need to obtain sufficient food to withstand such prolonged stress is of paramount importance. For many species visiting our gardens this aspect is overcome by the generous provision of varying food types we make available, which an extensive number of species avidly exploit, but also heavily rely on. That they might also rely on the convenient presence of nestboxes sited in the same garden, or nearby, is at the heart of the new enquiry. If this is something you are able to help with may I suggest you take a look at the details on the BTO website
As I look out on a landscape currently covered in snow, with successive flurries moving through backed by a stiff, cold northerly wind, the prospect of spending a night out in such conditions is less than enticing!! Doubtless even a nestbox would appear a most attractive " des-res" in the circumstances ..........