Nesting Boxes Provides Needed Shelter
Providing nesting boxes for various types of wildlife in your locality will help encourage them to stay in your garden longer.
It's difficult not to be stating the obvious when promoting putting up a nesting box. Most of us have seen one and may
also have watched the parent birds returning again and again with food for their chicks.
In many ways a nest box is our way of getting local birds to
stay in our garden so we can enjoy observing them and their fledglings more closely.
Where we position the nesting box needs to be governed
by the best interest of the birds and their young.
Factors To Consider When Siting A Nesting box
Safety must be a priority. High on this list is to try to
protect the inhabitants from any local predators.
Where we put the box is important along with its construction,
it needs to be strong enough to foil any would be raiders of the nest box.
Comfort is a factor that might be overlooked.
Think of how it feels to sit in a greenhouse or car on a very sunny day, so a position that is not in full sunshine helps the parents keep their young comfortable while occupying the nesting box.
As birds often use the boxes in winter to roost in we need to avoid the opposite extreme, too cold a position will more than likely mean the box won't be used for nesting or roosting.
An adequate nearby supply of food and water is also a big plus in helping the parents meet the challenges they face in rearing their young.
Keep in mind though that some birds are not as social as others, so avoid placing the nesting boxes too near any feeding stations that get regular visits from other birds.
Owl Nesting box
What type of bird box we put up will be determined
by the birds in our locality.
Of the three factors considered above, we would especially take on board the third one if we were thinking of putting up an owl nesting box. There needs to be food available to them!
Our local Nature Reserve has several spread about the wooded areas they look after, and these are used by Owls in the area.
This proves it works locally and if we hear and see Owls near our gardens there must be a good supply of food available to them or they would go elsewhere.
Some years ago we were walking through a local woodland
park that runs along side a main road from the city to the local suburbs and the groundsman who we were friendly with called us across and drew our attention to three Tawny owlets perched together on a branch high up in a tree.
All three were looking straight back at us and were huddled together so closely they looked like a big ragged ball with
six eyes and three beaks.
If its feasible and we are adventurous enough, by putting up
an owl nesting box we could have this kind of experience in
our own garden.
Providing nesting boxes for wildlife does not stop with a
bird nesting box, other wildlife can be catered for without
too much expense to ourselves.
We might want to consider a Bug house, a Bee box, a Bat
box or a Butterfly boutique which create good opportunities
This is also true with a hedgehog box, which is especially designed to give the hedgehog a safe haven while it hibernates.
It's also recommended to provide some hedgehog food and water in the box as the hedgehog does wake up occasionally
and having a quick snack will help it through the cold period.
Where we situate the hedgehog box should allow us to go about our activities in the garden without disturbing the Hedgehog and ensure its safety from any mechanical garden tools we may use such as a grass strimmer.
While we are on the subject it is worth mentioning that it is strongly advised by organizations that are dedicated to the welfare of hedgehogs .... NOT TO GIVE Hedgehogs BREAD,
MILK or SALTY FOOD like BACON .... as these are not good
for the Hedgehog.
Ready mixed hedgehog food that provides a healthy diet for
the hedgehog can be purchased quite economically from most reputable pet shops or online.
With all that is available to the prospective Wildlife Gardener nowadays it is becoming much easier to provide the shelter needed by the wildlife in our garden.