Nest Box Challenge

Nuthatch. Photograph by Edmund Fellowes

Nest Box Challenge gathers valuable data on breeding birds by asking volunteers to monitor the birds in their garden through the breeding season

Nest Box Challenge gives you the opportunity to help us learn more about nesting birds in the UK. Anyone can take part - all you need to do is register the nest boxes or nests in your garden or local area and record what's inside at regular intervals during the breeding season. By asking anyone with a box / nest in their garden to monitor it for Nest Box Challenge, we can build up an incredibly detailed picture of the breeding success of garden nesting birds across the UK. The information collected can be used to understand more about why some species are increasing while others are declining, and to help us find out whether warmer weather and the provision of food can make a difference to the number of chicks that birds are able to raise. In order to take part, you simply need to register and answer a few questions about the garden or green space in which your box / nest is sited and a bit about the box / nest itself. You will then be able to record details of any birds you see using the box / nest and even what you find when you look inside the nest.

Quick pointers

  • Keep checking your box until the end of August – most nest box species don’t fledge chicks until the beginning of June, and some species may have a second brood in the summer.

Time / skill required

  • A few minutes each week to monitor the nests in your garden.
  • Able to access nests to count eggs and chicks, following the Code of Conduct.

Join the project

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Project timeline, contributions & findings

Project timeline

  • February - Make sure Nest Boxes are in place as birds start to look for a safe place to raise their brood
  • March - Some garden birds such as Blackbirds will start nesting
  • April - June - Many garden birds including Blue and Great Tits will nest during this time
  • September - Nest boxes should be cleaned out over the winter ready for the following Spring 

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