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Wesołowski T. 2006. Nest-site re-use: Marsh Tit Poecile palustrisdecisions in a primeval forest. Bird Study 53: 199-204.

Capsule Re-use is infrequent although birds reproduce equally well in re-used and new holes.
Aims to describe frequency of hole re-use by Marsh Tits in primeval forest with superabundant holes; to examine how depredation, disturbance, ectoparasites or the low quality of previously used holes influenced birds’ decision to switch holes; to assess whether Marsh Tits benefited from re-using holes.
Methods Birds were observed living in undisturbed conditions in a strictly protected part of the Białowieża National Park (Poland) during 13 breeding seasons, hole attributes were measured, and observations made of nest fate and bird survival.
Results Marsh Tits re-occupied 35.5% of available holes used the previous year (n = 214). The holes were most often re-used when both birds survived (42%) or when the surviving female was paired to a new male (35%). Holes were re-used less often after brood failure than after successful breeding (13% versus 39%). Other possible factors (ectoparasite infestation, inferior hole quality or a bird being caught at hole) had no effect on the re-occupation frequency. Birds in the retained and new holes bred at the same time, laid the same number of eggs, and had almost identical nesting success (78% versus 76%).
Conclusion Superabundant holes in the primeval forest allow Marsh Tits to change holes frequently. Similar outcomes of breeding in the re-used and new holes indicate that choices made by the birds are largely neutral, i.e. there is no strong selection pressure for or against hole re-use.