The role of nest sites in limiting the numbers of hole-nesting birds: A review

  title={The role of nest sites in limiting the numbers of hole-nesting birds: A review},
  author={Ian Newton},
  journal={Biological Conservation},
  • I. Newton
  • Published 1994
  • Environmental Science
  • Biological Conservation

Nest sites as limiting resources for cavity‐nesting birds in mature forest ecosystems: a review of the evidence

Assumptions that populations of cavity-nesting birds are limited by access to nest sites have largely been based on anecdotal reports or correlative data. Nest-box-addition experiments or

Influence of logging on nest density and nesting microsites of cavity-nesting birds in the subtropical forests of the Andes

It is found that nest success was greater in cavities located higher above the ground and found no evidence of lower nest success at logged sites, suggesting the need for forest management actions aimed at increasing nesting sites for cavity-nesting birds.

Nest-boxes alter the reproductive ecology of urban cavity-nesters in a species-dependent way

The detected nest type-dependent variation in reproductive performance supports the criticism regarding the unconditional extrapolation of evolutionary and ecological interpretations of nest-box studies to general populations, and highlights the ecological importance of old-growth tree stands, providing natural tree cavities for city-breeding animals.

Evaluation of artificial nest sites for long-term conservation of a burrow-nesting seabird

Nest-box provisioning for little penguins overcomes local nest-site limitation, improves breeding success, and can result in local population increases, so is not indicative of an ecological trap.

Nest-site use by an introduced parrot in New Zealand

The nesting ecology of the most successful psittacine invader, the Eastern Rosella, in the North Island of New Zealand was studied and the number of potential nesting sites available in an area and proximity to fresh water were important determinants of occupancy of nest sites by Rosellas.

Experimental test of nest-site limitation in mature mixed forests of central British Columbia, Canada†

It is argued that low cavity occupancy rates may not accurately reflect nest-site availability for cavity nesters in mature forests, and that cavity size may influence the true availability of cavities on the landscape.

Nest-Site Limitation of Secondary Cavity-Nesting Birds in Even-Age Southern Pine Forests

Data indicate nest-site availability was a limiting factor for breeding densities of secondary cavity nesting species, and prescribed burning appeared to facilitate discovery and use of nest boxes by birds in this study, consistent with the hypothesis that nest- site limitation is mitigated by habitat structure.


We test the hypothesis that selective logging reduces nest site availability and nest density for cavity-nesting birds in the Atlantic forest by determining 1) whether suitable cavities are as

Nest Box Preference by Secondary Cavity-Nesting Birds in Forested Environments

It is suggested that diverse species can be supported by the placement of nest boxes with entrance holes of various sizes and that specificspecies can be targeted by selecting the hole sizes preferred by those species.




It is easy to demonstrate that there are too few natural tree-holes for the demands of the hole-nesting birds.

Lack of nest site limitation in a cavity-nesting bird community.

In habitats where timber management has not substantially reduced availability of natural cavities, managers should not assume nest site limitation; natural nest site availability should be evaluated before implementing nestbox programs designed to increase populations of secondary cavity-nesting birds.

The evolution of nest-site selection among hole-nesting birds: the importance of nest predation and competition

Independent nest preference and utilization data suggest that all four species that vary their nest heights in relation to density prefer to nest high, and it is suggested that predation is the factor that has selected for this preference.

The role of nest-site availability and territorial behaviour in limiting the breeding density of Kestrels

During 1976-9 European kestrels in an upland area of young conifer plantation in south Scotland bred mainly in disused crow Corvus corone nests, usually in small woods in the valleys, and fed largely on voles.

Nesting Interference in a Dense Population of Wood Ducks

A breeding colony of wood ducks (Aix sponsa) was built up over a 9-year period by erecting nesting boxes along a small slough in the Sacramento Valley, which led to nesting interference, compound nesting, nest desertion, and generally inefficient reproduction.

Relative Value of Natural Cavities and Nesting Houses for Wood Ducks

Compared with previous studies, the low rate at which nest houses have been used by wood ducks has disappointed waterfowl biologists in some states, and enough natural cavities already existed for nesting purposes and that production of young was not increased substantially by providing additional nesting sites.

Use of Tree Cavities by Nesting Eastern Bluebirds

Tree cavities used by nesting eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) were described and compared for two study areas to assess the effects of different land use practices and competition for nest sites

Nest Boxes: An Effective Management Tool for Kestrels

Only three pairs of nesting kestrels were found in a more than 20-year period on a study area of the Prairie Chicken Study Areas of the Buena Vista and Leola Marshes in central Wisconsin, leading the Hamerstroms to wonder whether lack of nest sites might not have kept kestRELs from nesting.

Interspecific interference competition ― Nest sites for blue and great tits

Blue tits are good exploitation competitors and are successful where high breeding densities result in competition for food during the breeding season, and great tits are relatively more successful than blue tits where nest sites are limiting.

The use of artificial nest sites erected for starlings in Canterbury, New Zealand

Intraspecific competition for suitable artificial sites occurred frequently, and accounted for 9.7% of all egg and nestling losses.