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How to protect nest boxes from predators

Cara J

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Nest box guards work, but the most effective kinds aren’t the ones most people use, according to new research presented during TWS’ 23rd Annual Conference in Raleigh, N.C. Today, nest boxes are widely used, both by bird lovers as well as researchers and conservationists. But they don’t always serve as the safe shelters humans intend. “Studies have shown that over time, predators can learn locations of nest boxes. So potentially as they age, next boxes can become more of an ecological trap,” said Robyn Bailey, a biologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who presented the research in a session on avian ecology. A snake peeks out from the entrance of a nest box intended for birds. Some types of predator guards can help prevent snakes from climbing into nest boxes. ©Colleen People use a variety of devices to prevent predators from raiding nest boxes. But until now, it wasn’t clear how well these nest guards worked, said Bailey. She and her colleagues conducted the first large-scale study of nest guard effectiveness, comparing several common guard designs. The data came from NestWatch, a citizen science project in which volunteer birdwatchers find nests and monitor them until the chicks either fledge [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/how-to-protect-nest-boxes-from-predators/

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