As you can see from the above image of the brush tail possum attacking a sitting wood duck, predation is an issue for nest box occupants.
During cold winter months, a nest box made from thick wood panels will retain the body heat of an occupant and protect against the outside cold temperatures. It is not something that you’d want your child munch on, and so isn’t appropriate for making nest boxes. Ringtail possums will use the same entrance size as for Crimson Rosellas but can’t fit into slightly smaller entrances for Eastern Rosellas and lorikeets. If none of these locations suit, you can buy FauNature nest boxes online and have them delivered right to your doorstep. We need to look after the important natural hollows that SA has left, but we can also give our native wildlife a helping hand by providing them with an alternative. My A-frame birdhouse is made from marine plywood and strips of pine. Make sure the box entrance faces away from the harsh afternoon sun and is placed to avoid strong winds. It’s pretty much impossible to clean out a grotty nest box with a small entrance, that one can’t fit their hand into – or remove feral species such as European honey bees. The measurements below are in millimeters and are the minimum guidelines for the dimensions of the boxes. Rosellas, red-rumps and many parrots like to nest in vertical hollows, whereas wrens, ducks and kookaburras prefer hollows on the horizontal, so make sure you mimic these set-ups with your nesting boxes. Speak to staff at your local nursery or check out council resources regarding suitable plants for your area. Adapt the sizes if you want to. Planting locally native, dense prickly shrubs as understorey around trees with hollows can also help to deter predators. Many designs and step-by-step guides on how to design and build your own nest box are available on the internet, specific for the native animal you are keen to attract. Do this in the evening AFTER they have left for their nightly rambles! If facing inward – inside the nest box, animals may struggle to exit the nest box.
Instead of just cutting a hole in one end of the box, it’s best to insert a plastic pipe about 100 mm long, with a diameter of about 30 mm. The wood must though be sealed and regularly maintained to ensure it lasts for a long time. Why build a nest box.
All Rights Reserved. Our for-Sugar Glider nest box was a hit almost immediately, this one in use most nights. But unfortunately older trees are getting harder to come by. Glue and let dry – ideally while clamped. There are a few things you need to consider when installing a nest box (or two) in your patch. A death trap of a hollow would be one that doesn’t permit water to drain, flooding and drowning any occupants that cannot escape such as chicks, during wet and wild conditions. Birds Loss of habitat has had a massive impact on heaps of native animals. Heavy duty flat pack box suitable for Kookaburras (Assembled box pictured) Horizontal box with 180mm entrance hole. Adding a simple latch that prevents the nest box lid from being lifted up, is a good solution. Don’t worry, maggots are the nest box vacuum cleaners by consuming this goop, growing wings and flying away! There are thousands of designs to use, whatever design you choose for your own birdhouse, the most important element is that it should be large enough for the species you aim to attract in terms of both its internal area, and the access hole. When checking the nest box use your eyes only, be careful not to touch the species as you could harm them or yourself. The entrance hole for a crimson or pale-headed rosella should be 80 mm to 90 mm, while smaller eastern and western rosellas are quite happy with a smaller 70 mm diameter hole (no wonder they like the birdhouse I built). Sugar gliders and small possums also are at risk of being snacks for bigger daytime and night time predators, and so will benefit from a nest box that is invisible from hungry eyes. When was the last time you saw a symmetrical tree hollow? Use the square to mark out a 600 mm x 300 mm rectangle; two 300 mm x 300 mm squares; and two equilateral triangles measuring 300 mm x 300 mm x 300 mm on the plywood. Indigenous (or locally native) plants are those which were, prior to European settlement, common to the area. Birds that don’t bring bedding and lay their eggs on a bare, hard wooden floor risk their eggs being broken while they are being laid, or when mother bird is sitting on them. The brushtail possum returned over many nights and ate them all. Now you have to keep them there, and make sure their stay is as comfortable as possible. Actually, the reverse is probably true. Materials for a Bird Box Built From Unique Birdhouse Plans. For depth, about 5 cm, or two inches is appreciated by some species, and will be reduced to suit preferences if too deep by other species. Can you see mother Treecreeper?
Image and nest box by Jenny Bigelow. Note that this nest box with an added stick also has the parallel saw cut ladder in addition. Many people don’t realise that brushtail possums are one of the main arboreal predators in our native ecosystems. Messy and uneven is fine. I hope I have inspired you to build the best birdhouse ever using my unique bird house plans. Late winter to early spring is the best time to erect a parrot attracting box. Further information on protecting your property and ornamental plants from possums can be found on our factsheet Living With Possums… Without Going Nuts!
Because of the high chance of multiple species using a single nest box, I strongly recommend adding bedding.
This is especially important if you are looking to attract nectar or insect-eating species. Image and nest boxes by Philip Dubbin, a good example of adding strips of wood as a climbing ladder, instead of the parallel saw or chisel cuts. The size and orientation of your nesting box and the opening will depend on the species you are looking to appeal to. Ten species of Kingfishers are found throughout Australia. Although you may be making a nest box for a ringtail possum – according to the label on your design sheet – you are also making a nest box for different Rosella species (parrots), Dollarbirds, Australian Owlet-nightjars, and also perhaps a number of smaller bird species willing to brave the risk of these larger competitors chasing them out mid-nesting season. Threatened Species Day raises awareness about some of SA’s threatened species. Another option is to fix the birdhouse to an existing fence post, like the one below that also features a small feeding tray.
The…, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaCiNizT_BM For my location near Canberra that has low rainfall, very low humidity, and few termites, pine nest boxes often last many years if painted well (outside only). Birds in Backyards and BirdLife Australia have created nest box plans for a number of native Australian bird species including the laughing kookaburra…