Last Christmas a friend of mine gave me a bird box as my present. It came with information as to the type of bird it was for as it turns out birds like different kinds of homes just like us with different “front doors” and locations. I set the box up as per instructions and had a nice family of bluetits as neighbours in 2021.
As the 14th of February is the beginning of Bird box week I thought I should write a short blog on birdboxes and their care.
Bird boxes come in all shapes and sizes. The shape and size of the hole differs depending on the type of bird you are looking to move in. Blue tits like a small round hole, Robins a square larger opening, interestingly the Dundee birds obviously wanted their hole a wee bit bigger because,as you can see from photo of my box, they scraped some round the bottom of the hole for easier access!!!
The position is also important, away from the prevailing wind and at a height which is away from predators such as cats and inquisitive children!!! You maybe wish to be able to see any action but the birds need some protection so position carefully.
It is also very important to make sure the nest box is clean and ready for any new residents. So every year and now (late winter), if you have not already done it, is the time to take them down and give them a good clear out (be aware there maybe old eggs etc still in box so gloves recommended). None in mine but as you can see they had made themselves a very cosy nest. The box should then be cleaned with boiling water to help ensure the safety of the new family moving in. Don’t use detergents etc as they may be harmful to the birds, a good scrub and rinse is sufficient. I found an old toothbrush very helpful at this stage. Then let the box dry naturally. Ensure the box is completely dry before positioning in your garden.
Hopefully you and I, will then have some new happy neighbours in 2022 with the gift that keeps on giving…..
Text and photos by Volunteer Christina Howie