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These homes are for the birds


also possums, ducks, bats, antichinus, gliders …

LAND FOR WILDLIFE member Alice McGlashan has created a website and Facebook page called Nest Box Tales that aims to educate and support people wanting to provide habitat for hollow-nesting native birds and animals. Based in the Bungendore/Bywong area just outside Canberra, Alice aims to help birds and animals to survive in South East New South Wales by providing key information to people who want to help build and install nesting boxes.

ABOVE: Australian Wood Duck checking on the eggs.

Remnant bush with hollow bearing trees is essential for 114 native bird species across Australia that require tree hollows for nesting. A number of native birds, including owls and treecreepers, also live in hollows year-round. Land clearing has seen a significant decline in trees suitable to provide habitat for birds and mammals in the South East.

Large tree hollows used by ducks, owls, and black cockatoos can take centuries to develop and only form in mature, old trees. Even small hollows for birds such as treecreepers, thornbills and pardalotes require many decades to form. The hollows in mature trees are created by the natural forces of wind, heat and fire as well as wood-eating organisms such as fungi and insects.

People who want to provide habitat on their properties where the vegetation may not have suitable hollows can use the Nest Box Tales website to learn from Alice’s experiences.

“The website is my way of passing on the knowledge that I have gathered through trial, error and research over the past four years, and the great thing about the Facebook page is that people from all over the country are sharing their expertise”, said Alice.

Their website has links to designs for all types of nest boxes suitable for native birds and animals as well as information on making a nest box comfy for the target species. There are handy hints to make your next box building venture a success including dealing with predators and feral bees.

Follow Alice’s adventures on Facebook for some inspiration and to see fascinating videos of marsupials and birds using nest boxes.


IMAGES: Author supplied.

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