Many species of birds occupy cavities, such as hollow trees, interstices on a facade or the spaces under a roof to shelter in the winter and nest in the spring. In an urbanised environment like Monaco, where natural shelters are becoming more rare, man can intervene to provide suitable nesting places.
Monaco’s Environment Department has taken up the challenge and is installing artificial nest boxes to encourage the nesting of a number of bird species in parks and gardens.
In addition to contributing to the conservation of bird populations for their own sake, these boxes help the nesting of small insectivores for natural parasite control. Some nesting boxes are being set up in places with an educational focus to help the study and monitoring of bird populations of scientific interest.
The target species are mainly sparrows, already accustomed to an urban environment, as well as two small raptors – the Scops owl and the kestrel. A preliminary study, carried out by the Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels of Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur, identified the nest boxes best adapted to these species and chose the most suitable locations in the gardens and parks of the Principality.
In addition, as part of interdisciplinary practical training in life sciences and technology, nesting boxes for great tits have been designed by a third class of College Charles III and installed in Monaco’s gardens.