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I have a nestbox for blue tits. Could I put up one for robins nearby, or will they attack each other?

Sent in by Debbie Ramsden, Surrey

Robins and blue tits are fiercely territorial against individuals from the same species. However, there should be little competition between these two species. There should be room for both these nestboxes in your garden.

Robins and blue tits have different nesting requirements. Blue tits prefer to nest in a small hole with a clear flightpath to the entrance. Robins usually choose a site low down in dense vegetation. They prefer open-fronted nestboxes.

These two species also have different foraging techniques, so there should be little competition for food. Robins are mainly ground feeders and will take worms and invertebrates from the soil. Blue tits prefer to feed off the ground and they take mainly seeds and nuts. Their diets do overlap in some areas though.

Robins do have a habit of attacking other species they compete with more closely, particularly those with red breasts. Stonechats, whinchats and redstarts are often chased away. Blue tits can compete with great, marsh and coal tits for nest sites and food. However, providing plenty of food and other resources will help to reduce any competition.

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