Chain Smoking Birds By Brad Robson

I took this picture on Friday at Desie Mackenzie's pub The Linnet Inn at Boho, west Fermanagh. He had called RSPB to tell us about local birds using the cigarette-butt boxes for nesting. He has three of these boxes, this one next to the pub door, one in the outdoor smoking area and one by the shop door. The one in the smoking area was used by Robins and appeared to have fledged some young by last Friday. The boxes had been used by customers until Desie noticed butts being thrown out and when he looked inside found in the case of the Blue Tit that much of the nest was constructed from the filters in the cigarette butts. He then searched on the net and designed the warning signs and provided ashtrays and sand buckets for customers to use instead. Whilst I was there both parent Blue tits were busiliy feeding the chicks and they are likely to fledge soon. I also gave Desie two conventional nest boxes in the hope that the birds will use them next year.

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