Provision of food and protection

Shortage of nesting sites is seldom a problem for most birds, but provision of nest-boxes has certainly helped a few species. These include Pied Flycatchers, who return from Africa after the resident tits have appropriated most suitable holes, and Dippers, who may struggle to find a site; nest-boxes may be used for breeding and for roosting in during winter.

Provision of food in gardens and feeding stations elsewhere may have helped with overwinter survival of some species, and perhaps encouraged wintering Blackcaps. Especially with finches, which otherwise have to delay breeding until there is sufficient natural seed available, man's actions may be allowing some to breed earlier, and could have assisted the increased range of Greenfinch and Goldfinch in the county.

Some of the largest winter concentrations of farmland species of conservation concern, such as Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer, have been found in planted areas of wildbird seed crops, an industrial-scale example of food provision.