Give a bird a home plea

Residents are being urged to create new affordable housing units in their gardens from this weekend as part of National Nest Box Week.The Norfolk-based British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is hoping that more people than ever create homes for garden birds as part of the annual event, which begins tomorrow.

Residents are being urged to create new affordable housing units in their gardens from this weekend as part of National Nest Box Week.

The Norfolk-based British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is hoping that more people than ever create homes for garden birds as part of the annual event, which begins tomorrow.

Officials from the bird research organisation, in Thetford, said the new boxes would help popular species like the robin, which suffered a 20pc drop in productivity last year.

The 13th National Nest Box Week is being supported by BBC wildlife presenter Simon King, and Norfolk residents have so far registered the largest number of nest boxes (623) for the BTO's Nest Box Challenge, which records the breeding progress of garden bird species.

Dave Leech, head of the BTO's Nest Record Scheme, said: “Information collected by BTO nest recorders and bird ringers suggest that the number of offspring produced by many bird species has fallen during recent wet summers. By putting up an open-fronted nest box during National Nest Box Week, we can provide them with the shelter they may need if summer 2009 is another wash-out.”

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