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Why British Birds are Increasingly Relying on Bird Houses

If you are interested in birds, you will doubtless have read many articles urging you to feature >bird houses in your garden. We have made several such calls to action here on the Little Peckers blog. But you may not be aware of the reasons why birds need our help. After all, there were birds before people had gardens so what did they do then?

Wild Birds and Urbanisation

There was a time when most of our nation was undeveloped leaving plenty of places for birds to nest. But as the human population has grown, more and more buildings have been erected in areas which were previously open countryside. Urbanisation has not only removed potential nesting sites, it has destroyed the habitats of many of the creatures on which the birds feed.

The Impact of Renovation

Until relatively recently, many species were still able to prosper because domestic architecture offered plenty of handy places for birds to nest including the eaves. There were also many run-down and dilapidated old buildings, out buildings and barns for the birds to use. But the human population has continued to grow and the result has been a huge demand for housing. Many old buildings have been renovated to provide homes for people and this has reduced the number of potential sites for the birds.

To make matters worse, people have become progressively more house proud and have tidied up their homes and outbuildings, removing valuable nesting sites in the process. Modern homes are not constructed in a way which helps the birds in any way and many barns and agricultural buildings have been converted into houses. Our gardens have become increasingly more formal and manicured which hasn’t helped the birds either.

A Greater Need for Nesting Boxes

Wild birds now need nesting boxes more than ever. The British Trust for Ornithology has confirmed that natural nesting sites for birds are on the decline across the country. The nooks in old buildings have largely disappeared. Birds like the common swift have long been relying on manmade structures but modern designs and renovations have seen sightings of these birds decline by 47% since 1995.

Two Bird Houses for Every Home

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if very home featured at least two bird houses? This would make such a huge difference to the birds and they can be further helped by the inclusion of bird feeders. Do you have nesting boxes around your house and garden? If not, then what are you waiting for? You could play a significant role in helping bird populations to recover whilst enjoying many visits from a variety of interesting feathered friends.


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