As mentioned in the Blane Valley Bulletin, Glasgow University are studying the interaction between cavity nesting songbirds (blue tits and great tits), caterpillar preys and plants on which the caterpillars feed, and how this can be disrupted in urban areas.
The lack of native trees forces birds to seek less ideal food sources. Even the food we put out in our gardens can be harmful if we overdo it! Best for the birds is if we:
- stop putting food out during the nesting season from April to September, and
- keep fat balls for winter use only.
In addition to nest boxes in the Mugdock area to the south side of the valley, the researchers have put up some nesting boxes in and around the village, shown in the photo below. Public ground is preferred so that the researchers can visit regularly to observe feeding behaviours.
Any questions about the project can best be answered by contacting Davide.Dominoni@glasgow.ac.uk.
Needless to say there is lots more advice on how to support our native birds from organisations like the RSPB https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/