A comparison of the breeding ecology of collared flycatchers nesting in boxes and natural cavities

  • Published source details Mitrus C. (2003) A comparison of the breeding ecology of collared flycatchers nesting in boxes and natural cavities. Journal of Field Ornithology, 74, 293-299.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for songbirds

    A replicated, controlled study in old growth forest in Podlaskie, Poland, between 1993 and 1999 (Mitrus 2003) found no differences in reproductive output of collared flycatchers Ficedula albicollis nesting in artificial nest boxes, compared to those in natural nests (average of 4.9 fledglings/nest for 122 nests in boxes and 150 nests in natural sites).  There were no differences in clutch size, laying date or the percentage of nests losing eggs or chicks, but artificial nests were less likely to be completely predated (0-28% of broods completely lost to predation), compared to natural nests (20-54%).  The authors suggest this may be due to predators not yet adapting to nest boxes.


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