Willow Tits

The decline of the Willow Tit Poecile montana in the UK has made it a conservation priority species.

There is evidence to suggest that the species will respond to conservation management in some areas of the UK.

The reasons for the serious decline of the Willow Tit in the UK is constrained by a lack of understanding of the species’ ecology, which is partly due to the difficulty of persuading Willow Tits to use nestboxes.

It is likely that several factors are responsible for the serious decline, although those related to habitat change or degradation are probably among the most important. There is also evidence to suggest nest predation (by grey squirrel and great spotted woodpecker) or competition (from great and blue tit) has had a effect on the conservation status of this species.

This design of  nest box has been shown to work in some study area. Nest success from nests in boxes that reach the egg stage is very high, probably much higher than those in natural cavities.

See: https://britishbirds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/article_files/V102/V102_N07/V102_N7_24_31.pdf

For a number of years I’ve been interested in Willow Tits. I can provide advice on installing and monitoring Willow Tit nest boxes. Here are some images of some recent nest boxes that I have constructed. Contact me for more details or discuss future project work;

Willow Tit nest box design
Willow Tit nest box design

Image 1. The boxes are constructed from 10mm pine.

Willow Tit nest box construction details.

Image 2. A square of rotten willow is cut to fit inside the box.

Willow Tit nest box construction.

Image 3. Thin stripes of bark are cut from birch and willow.

Willow Tit nest boxes.

Image 4. The bark is cit to length and then attached to the outside of the boxes.

Completed Willow Tit nest boxes.

Image 5. A selection of complete birch and willow boxes.

Image 6 and 7. Willow Tit nest boxes up at Whisby Nature Reserve