With a lovely weekend of clear skies and sun, I have made the most of it and attempted to get all my nest boxes sorted for the new season. Many of them stay up throughout the year, with the cameras removed and re-positioned around the garden. I have a few extra ones to put up this year… a woodpecker one… one I have adapted hoping to attract a nuthatch or tree creeper and a couple of open fronted ones for robins, blackbirds and wrens possibly.
The trouble is now that I hate putting up boxes without a camera in! It would be just my luck that the one box without a camera in, would get a really interesting species! Many of the commercially bought boxes are easy to slip the cams in and out so it can almost be left until the birds start seriously looking and thinking of building, but some of my own adapted ones need to be put up with the camera already in there, just not plugged in yet until; I know if it is going to be used.
These are the ones I have put up this weekend:
Open front box for Blackbird / robin:
I have mounted this box on the edge of my garage port as I have had both blackbird and robin investigate various platforms in the garage port and my neighbour had a blackbird nest on a shelf amongst the tools in his! It is protected a bit by ivy and I could get a camera to it possibly if something took up residence.
Open front box for robin / wren:
This is quite a small box and I have mounted in an ivy clad tree in quite a protected area. I will not be able to wire a camera to it as it is too far from the house, but could get a Bushnell set up there if need be.
Adapted box for nuthatch / tree creeper:
I adapted this box by closing up the front entrance and creating one on the side instead, up in the corner with some bark attached on the front and a natural knot hole lining up with the hole I made. I have put a small translucent window in the top of the box to allow a little light in and mounted a small camera inside. I mounted this box in a tree half way up my garden and can easily plug in the camera if something takes an interest.
Coal tit birch log box:
I get loads of coal tits around here so wanted to see if I could attract one to nest. I read that they like log type boxes, positioned quite close to the ground. I bought this box last year and I have mounted a black and white camera inside and it is a small space and there is very little light. I have mounted it quite low to the ground up behind my garage port in an ivy clad area where they often forage.
I bought this box last year and adapted it. I covered it in bark and filled it with softwood as woodpeckers like to excavate their own holes. Because it is full of wood, it would have been difficult to put a camera inside. What I have done instead is mount it high up in a tree that has a branch right next to the entrance so I could set up a cam facing the entrance hole if they show an interest! This was the hardest to put up as it involved climbing up the ladder and then climbing up in the tree as well!
Adapted box for side view:
I adapted this sparrow terrace nest box, mounting a camera in one of the compartments for a low down view of the nest (hopefully!) I have a little window in the top of the box to improve the light inside, although I have covered this over until nest building begins as they seem to like the box dark when they start building. Once they start, they don’t seem to mind then.
I hope the birds appreciate my efforts and that I am rewarded with some footage of birds other than blue and great tits this year! Much as I love them, it would be fantastic to watch the life cycle of a new species as well.