The Rea nest boxes

This site is the UK headquarters of CJ Wildlife and is used for a variety of long and short term research. The buildings vary in age from 150 years old to the present, and are set amongst arable farmland (wheat, barley, oil seed rape and potatoes).

The images on this page show some of the nest boxes that we use to learn more about the nesting requirements of House Sparrows Passer domesticus and Starlings Sturnus vulgaris.

We have 74 House Sparrow nest boxes attached to the buildings, either arranged in groups of three (with the entrance holes facing in different directions) or singly.  The grouped boxes were originally part of the research that resulted in our House Sparrow Terrace nest box, which is a large box with three separate compartments inside and an entrance hole on both sides and the front. 

The House Sparrow boxes are made from painted Ecoplate (car seats that have been recycled into a durable board material) and mounted on the sides of our main warehouse buildings at a height of 6 metres. Each box is monitored closely (using a mobile elevating work platform or "cherry picker") and the nesting success recorded, with data being sent to the British Trust for Ornithology.

In 2011 222 House Sparrows were hatched over three broods. This doesn’t include the birds which nest amongst some of the older buildings on site, so we feel that we can safely say that our adopted colony is thriving!

Sadly Starlings are hardly seen in our area during the breeding season, but in most years at least one of the Starling boxes will be used by a House Sparrow pair.

Other species which were recorded nesting on the site during 2011 were Swallows Hirundo rustica (16-20 pairs), Pied Wagtails Motacilla alba yarrellii, Robins Erithacus rubecula, and Blackbirds Turdus merula.