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Nesting Crisis

Dorset Diary

Thursday 10 February 2005

Don't forget, Nest Box Week starts next Monday and lasts until February 21.

I have it on good authority that 'a baby boom in Britains's blue tit population could cause a housing crisis this year' so it is very important that we give them some help by putting up a nesting box.

Dorset folk are lucky to have a lot of natural bird-nesting sites, but many are fast disappearing. In an area which has some wonderful bird reserves professional advice about which birds need what sort of box is available, so don't be afraid to go along and ask.

I know that a number of schools use boxes so that the youngsters can trace the life of nesting birds from breeding to laying to hatching and to fledging, and you can do the same in your garden.

An e-mail from Steve Coombes, who lives in Weymouth, tells us that he read the previous article about the boxes (Diary, January 26). He say: "I thought I'd write.

"I'm a member of the Friends of Rdaipole Wood, a group formed to look after the wood planted by St Ann's Church.

"We put up 12 bird boxes last year and, even though we left it rather late, I saw seven had been used when I took them down in the autumn.

"I see the BTO is warning of a shortage of suitable nesting sites for blue tits this year, and so I expect they'll be popular again.

"We're having an open morning next weekend in St Ann's Church Hall, and we want to let everyone know.

"The Round Table gave us a very generous donation last year, so we'll be making plans on how to spend that.

"There will be lots of interesting displays on the wood, its trees, plants, and wildlife. Also we are starting to look into the local history of the area, and we'll be discussing that too.

"Among other items will be some records from the time when the hall was being used as a school, which is fascinating reading.

The group will be at the hall from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, February 12.

The British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are on hand to help next week, so pop into any bird reserver for advice or go to the website of National Nest Box Week on http://www.livingwith

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