You may remember that the environmental association Vita Nativa was busy last year putting up little wooden bird houses in strategic places in towns and cities all across the Algarve.

The idea being that any would-be ‘love birds’ would have a place to start a family safely hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city life going on below.

Well, since we are heading into a new year, Vita Nativa thought that it was a good time to stop and take stock of how it all went and how many of their nest boxes actually got used?

The results

Vita Nativa are pleased to announce that of the almost 600 boxes installed between October 2020 and February 2021, about 40% were occupied by one or more species of birds.

The nest boxes were occupied by 12 different species: chapim-real (great tit), chapim-azul (blue tit), chapim-de-poupa (European crested tit), pardal-doméstico (house sparrow), black starling (estorninho-preto), Eurasian nuthatch (trepadeira-azul), wrynecks (torcicolo), blue bird (melro-azul), mocho-galego (common owl), peneireiro-vulgar (kestrel), coruja-das-torres (barn owl) and (common owl).

During spring and summer visits, the association observed a total of 277 chicks in the boxes. But the numbers don't stop there, as these are just the ones they visited before the babies inevitably ‘flew the nest’. Careful examination of the boxes suggests that another 950 offspring may have been born.

Bearing in mind that the nest boxes were only installed a few months before the breeding season, Vita Nativa thinks that the rate they got for this first year is very good and, more importantly, makes them confident that this next year, 2022, now that the nests are more established, will be even better. They are confident they are on the right track to making the urban areas of the Algarve much more biodiverse.

To keep up to date with their progress this year, follow them on Facebook @VitaNativa or visit their website

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