Origins of the nest

In most cases, only the female constructs the nest, which takes about a week to complete. Rough material, such as dead grass, is placed on the outside followed by a thick layer of green moss and more dried grass. The nest cup is then lined with a layer of soft, warm material such as down, hair, small feathers, cotton and woollen fibres, and horsehair. The number of eggs varies amongst tils. Great tits lay 5- 13 eggs and smaller tits as many as 12- 15. In Northern and Eastern Europe where tits...

Block nest boxes from fresh trunks

You can also use fresh tree trunks, dividing them into four sections longitudinally (see diagram), though this is much more laborious than using ready made woodpecker homes. Older broadleaved trees with rotted interiors are easier to hollow out, saw up, and make good nest boxes from. A strip of wood, which should be longer than the eventual nest box, is fastened onto one of the four sections 3 -4 holes are drilled through the section and nails hammered through the holes into the lath. Using a...

Cleaning nest boxes

The cleaning of nest boxes is something which unfortunately is very often neglected. About 90 of all boxes set up cannot be cleaned and after a few years arc full of nesting material and unfit for habitation. Eventually a colony of bumble bees may come and set up home in the box. making great use of the nesting material. If you wish, youcan construct your box so that it can be cleaned from the ground using a pole this should be carried out in both autumn and spring. An ingenious solution to...

Territory

When the male arrives in the spring he is ready for breeding and begins immediately, or shortly after his arrival, to search for a suitable territory, an area surrounding an acceptable nest. The time of breeding is regulated entirely by the amount of light the bird is exposed to at that particular time of the year. The male normally guards 2 3 nests in the area and sings from them. His song performs the very important function of declaring the territory by marking out where it is and chasing...

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

Flycatcher Nest Box Plans

Pied flycatchers will readily use nest boxes. They will even breed in new nest boxes provided these are up when the birds return in the spring. In areas within its breeding range the pied flycatcher is a species which can be encouraged almost more than any other by the provision of nest boxes. It is a nest box user of the first degree. Because of the reduction in the area of natural woodland containing old trees with plenty of holes and cavitics, the pied flycatcher now breeds almost...

Beware poor quality nest boxes

Shops unfortunately sell a whole range of boxes which are entirely unsuited as living places for birds or which could have potentially fatal consequences. Most nest boxes are factory produced, which means that as many as possible must be produced in the shortest time, to make them as cheap as possible. It is also unfortunate that a lot of people who know next to nothing about nest boxes are starting to make such boxes from waste timber which would otherwise have been thrown away. The best nest...

Where do you live

Do you live in the vicinity of meadow land, forests or a lake The area in which you live will determine which birds you can attract to your nest boxes. Near a lake or the sea, wild ducks may come to the boxes while if near a wood, owls may come to breed. In the vicinity of enclosed pasture with groves of deciduous trees, the beautiful blue stock dove or jackdaws may use your owl nest boxes. In Scandinavia if you are plagued with ants in your garden you should entice a wryneck, which is a...

Making your own nest boxes

A good nest box should be warm and compact and should prolcel the bird during poor weather conditions. It should be made to the right dimensions, which are given on pages 206 9. Planks arc one ot the best and commonest materials. In spite of all the commercially available products, home made nest boxes are (he best, provided the dimensions are appropriate for the intended species. All descriptions of nest boxes say that the wood for the side panels must be sawn obliquely so that the roofs are...

Which birds breed in nest boxes

It is mainly the birds which nest in holes and cavities w hich breed in nest boxes.This also happens to be one of the groups of birds under heaviest pressure from the removal of natural nest sites through habitat alteration by man. One normally thinks of nest-box dwellers as being small birds, but there is a range of larger birds which can manage to breed in boxes, such as the goosander, goldeneye, mallard, mandarin duck, tawny owl, bam owl, Tcngmalm's owl, little owl, pygmy owl, kestrel,...

Alcdal s nest boxes

This box is made from a hollowed out section of alder trunk, and is produced by Harald Stockheden, Aledals Nyckefabrik, Bankeryd. Sweden. The roof is fitted with roofing felt. A 5 cm thick piece of wood is taken from the core left over from the hollowing out process this is nailed to the bottom of the nest box to give extra insulation. The outside of the floor is provided with two staples. A very thick, angled steel filament is threaded through a hole in the floor and bent so that it sits...

Triangular nest boxes

At one time shops in Sweden used to sell a triangular nest box with 18 cm sides, 16 cm internal depth, and an inner floor with 6 cm sides. On the one hand it was so small and cramped that no birds could manage to stay in it, and on the other hand the entrance hole was so high up that it was too narrow. There was an imminent risk of birds bceoming stuck in it. These nest boxes are still set up in many recreational areas. Some books recommend making one's own triangular boxes and sawing away the...

Block nest boxes made from old woodpecker nest cavities

Nest boxes made from hollowed out sections of tree trunks are particular-favourites of marsh and blue tits, but are preferred by all birds because of Methods of opening boxes for cleaning Angle slrip ngiletJ to base of box lo make a simple groove to slide base in and out Methods of opening boxes for cleaning The base can be held in place with 3 staples and a piece of stilf wire Bottom draws out after nail is withdrawn The base can be held in place with 3 staples and a piece of stilf wire Bottom...

Winter losses amongst tits

The death rate amongst tits is very high in cold weather. As many as 80-90 of tits normally die in their first year of life, even in mild winter climates. The loss rate for mature birds is only 20 30 . It is important that loss of warmth during cold winter nights is minimised. More and more people are feeding protein-rich food to winter birds, which is an excellent thing to do. However, tits often like to spend winter nights in nest boxes, so boxes with good insulating properties should be set...

Editors Preface

The very first nest box I put up, as a schoolboy, in a Norfolk wood 20 years ago, was used by a pair of marsh tits which successfully reared seven young. The serial numbers of the rings I put on them before they flew, HJ 56955 61 form a permanent record of that happy event in my ringing log, and somewhere in the archives of the British Trust for Ornithology at Tring Lies the nest record card, charting the progress of that particular nest. The whole proccss would have met with the thorough...

TrivseBo nest boxes

Flycatcher Nest Box Plans

Seven different varieties of this nest box arc sold for tits and pied flycatchcrs starlings tree creepers spotted flycatchers and wagtails 'All-Year1 Nest Box with removable front 'All-Year1 Nest Box with removable front Tengmalm s owls, stock doves and jackdaws tawny owls, goldeneye and goosanders. They are made by the partially disabled in Gavle and may be ordered by post from Mekotex AB, Snickcriavdelningen, Utrnarksvagen 6, 802 26 Gavle, Sweden. The nest box's front side, rear side and...

Nest boxes for wild ducks mergansers and owls

In rccent winters, a large number of dead tawny owls have been found firmly jammed into stove piping in summer cottages in Sweden. The shortage of accommodation has forced them to seek shelter in such places, where they have suffered a painful death. Other owls are equally desperate for somewhere to live. Setting up nest boxes will help owls. The occasions when you are most likely to hear an owl hooting will be on starlit evenings or nights in February March. If you go out with a map you can...

Contents

Foreword by Bill Oddie v Editor's preface vii boxes 3 Choose which birds will Hint', outside our house 4 Where do you live 4 Owls also need nest boxes 5 Help birds of prey with artificial autumn 6 Nest boxes are occupied during autumn and winter 7 Clean nest boxes 7 Leave nest boxes undisturbed tkiring breeding H Keep a register of your nest box birds S 2 Making your own nest boxes 11 Nest hoxes made from planks I 2 Cleaning nest boxes 1 Ulock nesl boxes made from old wood pecker nest ca n ics...

Why should we set up nest boxes

Social development throughout Europe is proving a threat to bird life. In Scandinavia the rationalization of the forest industry has restricted populations of hole-nesting birds and elsewhere in Europe urbanisation and the intensification of agriculture have destroyed many natural habitats. By putting up nest boxes in suitable areas wc can do something to help conserve birds which are otherwise under pressure from the habitat changes wrought by man. Woodpeckers for example arc highly dependent...