Kestrel Box set-up

On Friday, I was excited to pick up my new Kestrel nestbox from Riverside Woodcraft, a small business who operate from a farm near me. They did a brilliant job in building me a study box, which I am hoping will attract kestrels, or possibly little owls.  I have a large, mature Oak tree at one end of my garden, which overlooks open countryside. Apparantly, the key in siting these kind of boxes is that the birds have a clear flight path into the box.  The nestbox came with two large wooden brackets, great if you are mounting onto a post or vertical structure. Of course, an oak tree does not have such surfaces! We have spent all day constructing brackets and a structure that the box would sit securely on, yet face the open countryside…. not an easy task! Also the box is heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, especially when you are high up balanced in the tree. The pictures show the stages we went through as we gradually got it in place. Once in place, we mounted an external, infra-red camera onto the branch opposite, so I could see the outside of the box, but also just peep inside. This is was done by wiring it all up to a laptop in my conservatory (as it was pouring with rain by this point!) We then attached the wire down the tree and along the fence. The wire was about 2 metres too short to get into my office and to my PC, so I am going to get a small extension to finally get it to my PC. inally, I had read that a thin layer of soil and sawdust should be added to the inside of the box, so I clambered up for the final time, hopefully creating the perfect abode!  A good day’s work I think and I am so excited by the prospect of something nesting in this box…. especially if it turns out to be a bird of prey!

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