It’s still not too late to install a Bird nesting box in your garden. Ideally the box should have been put in place during last autumn or at least in the early part of last winter. This would have allowed regular bird visitors to your garden plot enough time to get used to its existence.
You can get bird boxes from various stores here in Thurles, including from Thurles Men’s Sheds, Mitchel Street, Thurles.
When installing, fix the box onto something solid; a sturdy garden fence, a stone or cement wall, a secure post; using screws, or if to a mature tree, use strong plastic electric cable ties. Position the nest box between 2 metres (6ft) and 4 metres (12ft) above ground level, preferably out of direct midday sunlight.
Always position the box in such a way as to ensure its front door is facing between north-east and south-east in an area well shaded by foliage, thus offering maximum shelter against Ireland’s regular south west prevailing weather conditions.
Do add a small protruding perch to your nest box, and ensure that same is out of reach of roaming, domestic, furry, feline friends or other natural predators. Try to keep nesting boxes away from bird tables also so as to allow Mum and Dad and their brood to fully relax away from unnecessary noise.
Once in place, relax, sit back, observe quietly and resist all temptation to inspect the box constantly. Such actions can disturb and drive off nesting birds, forcing them to desert their chosen home in favour of other quieter rent free accommodation.
At the end of summer or early autumn always check that any previous nesting material or unhatched eggs is removed, as old nest materials can become infested by various types of larvae, which can cause a serious infestation to any future nesting inhabitants.
Do wear rubber gloves when removing waste nest material, before pouring freely, simply plain boiling water into and over the box. This extermination process removes any hidden parasites that may have holed-up in cracks or crevices. Avoid all temptation to use insecticide, if possible.
Remember birds will often return to use your nest box for roosting outside their breeding season, so it is a good idea to install a small handful of clean hay or wood shavings or a temporary roost, for this eventuality.
Expect Earwigs to make their home in any narrow crevices in your nest box, but same will not cause any harm to tenanted birds. To avoid this Earwig problem, inviting crevices can be filled using the various types of filling compounds available in your local DIY store.