Characteristics of Good Nest Box
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What It takes to have a good nest box
Use untreated, unpainted wood preferably pine (recycled) as it is lightweight, rough and durable. General plywood is not durable outside and recycled pine also helps in conservation.
Use black oxide coated steel screws for assembling box as easier to remove for maintenance. Rusted nails can result in box falling down with eggs/chicks and also makes box maintenance difficult. SS screws (2 or 2”) for hanging box on tree
Sloped roof over hanging the front and sides by 1.5 – 2” keeps rain water out. Smooth sloped roof made of centering plywood also helps in thwarting predators.
Recessed base prevents the floor from getting wet during rains. Recess the base about 5mm from bottom.
Drill 5mm holes on base for water to get out. Number of holes depends on box size.
Walls should be at least 15mm thick to maintain integrity of the box and provide insulation
Rough Front Interior
Interior wall below entrance hole should be rough to help chicks climb out of the box. Unfinished pine (non planed) is rough enough for small boxes. Smooth boards needs to be roughed with coarse sandpaper
Boxes made of smooth sanded boards should have shallow horizontal cuts on the inside of front panel for chcks to climb out. Larger pine boxes will also help from interior grooves
Back panel should be extended on top and bottom by a few cm. This will help in mounting the box on trees. Pre drill 5mm holes on top and bottom before installation.
Birds don’t need perches. Any projection from box will help predators like cats, raptors gain access to box
Snakes are excellent climbers and difficult to thwart their entry. Baffles don’t work on trees. Avoid installing boxes near leaf or brush
Front patch about 2 to 2.5cm thick will impede cats and monkeys from getting access to eggs/chicks by preventing their paws or hands from reaching the bottom of the box
Cut edges of centering plywood (top and back) can be protected by using 2K Polyurethane coating