Over in the UK it’s just been national Nest Box week, possibly not THE biggest event of the year but a nice one none the less. And it’s now as a way of giving everybody a reminder that it’s the ideal time to get your nest boxes up, before the start of the breeding season, which is only a few weeks away.
All of mine are now up and ready to go and I have four spread around the garden.
Firstly I’ve got two boxes in the back garden ideal for Great Tits and Blue tits. For the first time in several years I didn’t have a brood in my regular nest box last year so I’ve added another one. Hopefully to increasing my chances. Tits like a nice open line of flight into the entry hole of the nest box so they need to be placed in an open location, you can see mine below.
My third box is the open fronted nest box which was successfully used last year by a pair of Robins to raise a brood.
The two difficulties I had with this box were that firstly the camera didn’t give very good images, so I’ve changed this over the Winter, but also the box was a bit too accessible for the cats. Indeed one of the newly fledged chicks was taken from under the box by one of the cats.
The Robins like their nests to be well concealed, in or behind thick hedges are favourite locations, I even remember when I was a kid we had a nest hidden inside our garden shed.
My Robin nest box is placed behind a conifer hedge and I haven’t moved it for this year. However I’ve added an extra barrier around it which I hope should keep the cats, or any other predators away.
My fourth nest Box is for the swifts, high up on the side of the house.
This has now been up for 2 years without any success, and really I’ve tried. I’ve been playing swift calls morning and evening with swifts circling overhead and all I’ve managed to do is to annoy the neighbours.
I did have ambitions of moving the box to perhaps a better location so over the Winter I disconnected the camera. However the move never happened and I had a little surprise when I reconnected the camera this week and took a look inside. The box was previously completely empty but now there is some debris inside, it looks like something has been inside over the winter.
Now the camera is connected again it’ll be interesting to see if it comes back. The swifts won’t be back until much later in Spring so I’ll have plenty of time to see.
The other work I’ve been doing over Winter to prepare myself for the new nesting season is to upgrade my PC and Video equipment. Happily I can now live stream and record several cameras at the same time.
I haven’t yet fully connected the swift nest box but the other three are up and for the time being can be seen here.
I’m ready for the new nesting season, now I just need the birds to oblige.