Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Nesting boxes for the garden

In an earlier post we wrote about the great tits that had nested and raised chicks in a nest box on the old cherry tree at the bottom of the garden. It was a real treat to watch their frantic to-ing and fro-ing, collecting grubs and feeding hungry chicks. Two year running they have nested. This year we have decided to install another couple of nest boxes to encourage more birds to take up residence.

The range of birds we see around here is incredible with different visitors during the changing seasons and some that are constant. The robins are here at the moment in increasing numbers. It is as this time of year they stop off on their migratory journey north but one or two stay throughout the year and keep us company as we dig and work the garden.

We hope to also install a perching pole at some stage for the large number of raptors that soar and glide through the open skies around La Pasera. They often come to rest in the older trees but are soon spooked if they see you. They like a vantage point from which to scan their prey, preen their feathers and take warmth from the early morning sun.

We will also build a feeding table for the garden birds in the coming weeks although previous attempts to get the birds feeding from fat balls failed. Now the garden is slightly more established and there are more bushes in which to take shelter we might have more success. The bird baths certainly attract a wide range of visitors.

The nesting boxes are constructed to recognised specifications and have an entrance hole of 2.7 cm, big enough for small birds such as blue tits or great tits. There are drainage holes in the bottom and a removable lid for cleaning. They have been treated with a none toxic protector and the hole left bare as the birds will undoubtedly peck away to customise their entrance. The boxes will be installed this week as the birds will shortly be on the look out for suitable residences. They will be sited on the north eastern side of two more mature cherry trees on the boundary of La Pasera, well away from curious cats.

I must say the nest boxes were much easier to build with the help of our new super-dooper chop saw. Now let me think....bat boxes, bee hotels, hedgehog homes, planters, cold frames, chicken coop, green house, extension, ark... Watch this space.

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