In Champien, a village of 300 inhabitants in the Somme, an amateur naturalist had the idea of installing nesting boxes in private homes. Something to delight the inhabitants who have learned to better know the different species of birds that live with them.
Great tit, blue tit, owl, owl… For Nolan, birds hold almost no secrets. “The birds see the feeder and that’s why they come“, he explains. And that’s thanks to François Sauvé, former retired mayor and amateur naturalist, who first installed two nesting boxes at the kindergarten in Champien. He then extended the idea throughout the village.
“I had presented my project at the town hall during a municipal council, and the response exceeded my expectations: more than 40 people approached me“, he says.
In all, 83 nest boxes are scattered among individuals. For example, tits have taken up residence in the garden of Lydie, a resident of the village: “I was able to observe them, I came quite early in the morning, and gradually they got used to seeing me. I came back several times, it went well, I saw them leave, come back, feed their little ones…“
Chickadees at Lydie, but also robins or other shrikes. François did not install his nesting boxes at random. “I started to think like a bird. I disregarded the properties and I offered people the nest box that really suited the species that was at home, or that was likely to be at home.“
The goal: to encourage residents to share their observations and fight against the disappearance of species. And as a symbol, a dove nested on the war memorial. For the town hall, the objective has been achieved. “Revitalizing the village, repairing nature… Seeing birds again everywhere in the village is extraordinary, and it gives us hope.“
Eventually, François wants to create an inventory and organize a photo exhibition of the species present in the town.