Ducks given helping hand with nest tubes

NOW is the “ideal time” to install nest tubes for ducks, according to the Brititsh Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC).

The charity’s push to erect more platforms is part of its wider duck monitoring project.

Last year, 48% of the 225 raised nests monitored by the project were occupied, with 98% showing signs of successful hatching.

Sophie Stafford, BASC’s science advisor, said: “Mallard nests are often destroyed before the eggs have a chance to hatch through predation, trampling from livestock or disturbance from dog walkers.

“Elevated off the ground and over water, nest tubes offer security from the elements and protection from predators and disturbance.

“These tubes have been shown in other countries to boost hatching success.

“With ducks soon to begin pairing up, now is the ideal time to build and install duck nest tubes.”

She added: “The significant hatching success highlights the role duck nest tubes can play in conserving mallard and other breeding ducks.

“Our priority now is to keep growing the occupancy rate through learning more about why tubes are taken up and increasing the number constructed.

“Clubs, organisations and syndicates should contact their BASC regional office to enquire about workshop availability to help increase the number of nest tubes installed.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, don’t miss Andy Dobson’s article about rockpools in the March issue of Scottish Field magazine.