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Nesting Boxes

Nesting Boxes

Do you know, I read a terrible report the other day !
Over four years, the number of birds seen in gardens has dropped by nearly 20%.
But perhaps even worse than that - nobody really knows why !

Lots of ideas, too much concrete, too many hybrids, too many ‘manicured’ gardens, too much pesticide killing off the insects ( and some birds, do you know what slug pellets can eventually do to Thrushes ?)

Anyway lots of ideas, but no one really knows.
Well, while the experts work it out - how about following our cunning plan.

It seems to work, because we really are blessed with loads of birds in the garden.
All sorts of Tits, Finches, Sparrows, Thrushes, Nuthatches, Dunnocks, Great and Green Woodpeckers, Collared Doves and, of course, the heavy mob, Woodpigeons and Jackdaws.

But you feed ‘em, you house ‘em, you protect ‘em but will they stand still for my camera !

( All of these photographs were taken in our garden’s scruffy bit. )

O.K. you say, enough going on and on and on - what is this cunning plan ??

Well, it’s simple really, would you go where your not made to feel at home, where you not even offered a cup of tea, and where there are lots of muggers prowling about ?

‘Course you wouldn’t !

So here’s what we suggest.

First of all birds are very untidy creatures, the’re all teenagers at heart and like a bit of mess, so keep a scruffy bit in the garden. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to tidy up the leaves in this area, or trim back growth.

Even a few nettles wouldn’t go amiss, and nettle aphids certainly get the Blue Tits vote.

In this scruffy patch perhaps add some plants that bird’s particularly like.

Choose from a whole mish mash including Cotoneaster, Berberis, Dogwood, Sunflowers, Teazles, Millet, Pyracantha, Ivy, Holly and Hawthorn.

All would be right up their street, providing cover and tasty berries or seeds.

Secondly, don’t forget the water, and always keep it ice free.

A little pond would be ideal ( great for so many other reasons too, have another look at Jenny’s Books.)

Well, now you have made them welcome, given them tea and biscuits and they can keep out of site of the “muggers”.

But can we do more ? Yep !

How about offering a few “ Des. Res”

Detached, safe, secluded if required, but so convenient for the shops.

Well, it just so happens that our friends at the Widemarsh Workshop have made us some.

Produced from off cuts, protected by a water based solution, and easily cleanable they are absolutely ideal for any young broody couple.

Not that they are only used for bringing up a family, they make ideal roosting nooks during our long, long, cold nights.

( Do you know, over 60 little Wrens were found in a roost similar to our ‘open front’ one chilly night.)

We have two designs for the discerning nest hunter to choose from.
The greater privacy of the enclosed residence, with a 30 mm entrance, we find tends to be preferred by the more sensitive sort of Tits, Sparrows, Nuthatches and Dunnocks.
The airier, open skies design is particularly favoured by Robins, Wagtails and Wrens although some clients have been Thrushes and Blackbirds - and most birds would be very happy to roost in them out of the cold wind, rain and snow.
Anyway, enough of that, I’m beginning to sound like an Estate Agent !

Can I suggest a few tips in placing and looking after your nesting boxes.

The open boxes are very likely to attract Robins and Wrens in particular, they like them about 5 - 6 feet above the ground. Ideally they should be hidden from immediate sight by some handy foliage.
Squirrels and Magpies for example are very fond of a tasty egg for breakfast, or any other meal for that matter

’Tit’ boxes though like quite a clear flight path, but prefer a much higher situation, well over 8 feet.

Make them accessible though because, although it really is best not to try and peer in during the nesting season, they do need an annual visit by the home help, that’s you by the way, to give them a good before spring clean.
Go visiting after August ( your not allowed to clear away any eggs and stuff before then ) and clear any old nesting material or other debris - told you they were messy - then pour on some boiling water to get rid of any parasites.
This also helps to attract the birds back, they really are only interested in a clean home.

Bit of a cheek really !

They like to be as comfy as possible too, so site their boxes facing away from the Nor’Westers or other prevailing winds in your garden.
They can have too much Sun too ( I wish ! ), so somewhere without it shining directly into their faces would be best.

Lastly, Oh I know I’m going on, don’t be tempted to put your nesting boxes too close to a bird feeder.
At first thought, this may seem ideal for them, but would noisy strangers constantly squabbling on your doorstep put you in the mood ?

Also, some birds get quite upset if others get too close and it quickly becomes “put ‘em up !” time.

Sparrows though, although they always seem to be arguing, quite like terraced housing, so you could put their boxes side by side.
Then they’ll bicker away happily all day long.

Sparrows are Joe’s favourite bird, he say’s he can remember flocks chirruping away when he was a child in London.

Remarkably long memory that man !

All of these 5 pictures were taken from our kitchen window over 15 minutes one day in late March.
It’s a bit early for them to nest - but they are all “house” hunting !
( and they could be searching for quite a while yet - fussy lot.)

We offer these hand made boxes in pairs, just choose which you would like. ( In the “comments” bit.)

As we know how difficult it is to get a new home together, we offer fully fitted carpets in each box.
( It’s coir nesting material actually, in a restful shade of brown. )

A pair of boxes, whichever style you like,
in any colour so long as it’s brown.
( It goes with the fitted carpets .)

£17.70
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Buy as many as you like, p & p is the same for however many, and create your own exclusive housing estate.

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