Checklist for nestbox owners
Appeared on Space For Nature on 16th February 2004
In this National Nestbox Week, the BTO have issued a six point checklist for owners of nestboxes to make sure they are up so scratch.
Chris de Feu, the author of the British Trust for Ornithology
's new book, The BTO Nestbox Guide
has devised the following list of things that owners of nestboxes can do to ensure that they maximise the chances of birds making use of them this spring and summer.
- Is it water-tight? Is the box going to leak in heavy rain? Small drainage holes in the floor of the box are helpful too.
- Check your insulation. Wooden boxes should be made of wood which is at least 15mm thick.
- Cooking in the sun? Young birds can die if a box is exposed to full sun during the middle part of the day.
- Home security tips. Make sure that the lid cannot be removed by a cat or squirrel. A metal plate around the entrance hole may stop squirrels and woodpeckers from enlarging the hole and eating the nestlings.
- Location, location, location. Please do not site boxes right next to bird feeders or in places where cats or squirrels have easy access. Remember, even a really nice box might remain unoccupied if there is a better one in the next garden!
- Spring cleaning. It is best to clean out nestboxes in the autumn. If you have not done so and there is no sign that your birds have started adding new material, then you can empty out the old nest now.
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