Just outside my study window is a starling nest box stuffed with a noisy brood of youngsters. This is a big success story for me. When we first moved into this house we had starlings nesting in the roof space, they gained access through the bottom corner tile where there was a big hole. Year after year we had successful broods being raised. Then we reached the point where we knew that we would soon have to have our roof replaced so I put up a nest box on the corner of the house just below the roof hole and filled the hole with chicken wire (obviously not whilst they were nesting.) The next spring they battered the chicken wire into submission and nested in the roof space again! That autumn, after they had all fledged we had the roof replaced and in the spring we didn’t have any starlings though a pair of great tits did investigate the box. Last year, still no starlings though lots of scratch marks appeared on the box. So this year’s success is very encouraging.
I have got so much enjoyment out of listening and watching these fascinating birds over the years. Now I have a vision! That every house in our street will put up a starling nest box, that every school I visit will put up several starling nest boxes. And not just starling boxes. This autumn why don’t we all make a concerted effort to end the housing shortage for birds (and bats) an put up as many nest boxes as we can afford to. We will get huge enjoyment out of watching and listening to them, and of course the birds will benefit.