Home tweet home
Once you have planted a good collection of well protected tress and shrubs around your backyard, it's time to start thinking about providing a home for your new avian neighbours.
Artificial homes are a great way to encourage wild birds to spend more time in your backyard because they provide good shelter, protection from predators and just the right conditions for breeding.
A nest box is arguably the easiest type of bird home to install and is ideal for birds which nest in tree hollows such as Galahs, Kookaburras, Corellas, Cockatoos, Lorikeets, Red Rumpled Parrots, Rosellas and even Owls.
How do I build a nest box
A good nest box can be almost any shape and size as long as it is large enough to house a couple of birds, is well protected from the weather and is made from good quality timber that is not chemically treated. Exterior plywood is an excellent material to use as it is specifically designed to be weather proof. Talk to your local hardware store for advice on timber.
To give you a good idea on dimensions, galahs have a preference for vertical nesting boxes that are about 200mm wide, 450mm high and with a circular entrance that is about 100mm wide, while rosellas are happy with vertical or horizontal nesting boxes of roughly the same dimensions.
Start by cutting your timber to size and screw the pieces together using galvanized screws. Weatherproof your nest box by coating it with a suitable lacquer, but make sure it has dried properly before placing it outside to avoid any fumes. To help finish it off and make the floor feel realistic, spread some bark or wood shavings on the floor.
Drilling holes in the floor at the front of the box will also help with drainage and prevent the onset of disease associated with stagnant water.
Where should I put my nest box
Where you place your nest box is usually determined by the type of birds you are trying to attract. In most cases, positioning your nest box 4-5 feet above ground will help most birds feel safe and secure from predators such as foxes, cats, larger birds etc.
When positioning your nest box consider the impact the weather conditions could have on its inhabitants.
Ideally your box will have adequate protection from strong winds and be well protected from direct sunlight - especially during summer.