Plea to help nesting birds as freezing weather continues

Shelducks at RSPB Blacktoft Sands.

Shelducks at RSPB Blacktoft Sands.

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GARDENERS around South Yorkshire are being urged to help birds in the wintry weather by putting out nesting boxes for them.

Robins, blue tits and blackbirds are among early breeding species - and the RSPB charity is urging people to get behind the British Trust for Ornithology’s 16th annual National Nestbox Week, which starts today.

Types of birds that are attracted to a nestbox will depend on where the box is positioned and the size of the entrance hole, experts say.

RSPB Wildlife Advisor Ian Hayward said: “Blue tits will choose a tiny entrance hole – around 25mm across.

“It means they don’t have to compete with bigger birds wanting to nest in the same place.

“Robins, on the other hand, prefer boxes that are around a third of the way open at the front.

“This doesn’t give much protection from predators or the elements and therefore it needs to be tucked away in a sheltered and safe spot.”

■ There are downloadable advice sheets about positioning a nestbox, available online at RSPB