Our PhD student Hugh has successfully published another paper from his Gardens for Birds project.
In this study, Hugh wanted to investigate how the local environment helps determine the materials used in nest construction, how this differs among related species using similar nest sites, or if materials used directly or indirectly influence the numbers of offspring successfully reared.
He found that use of anthropogenic material affects songbird nest arthropod community structure. Specifically, more man-made material used in tit nests resulted in more fleas in the nests.
Clearly, urbanisation may have wide ranging and little studied effects on our urban songbird populations. Hugh’s work identified that nest boxes are ecological communities in their own right; they may be more complex than they first appear, and worthy of consideration for further investigation.
Read the entire paper here.