Last Opportunity To Clean Out & Maintain Bird Nesting Box.

Firstly, I should state if you do not have a bird nesting box in your garden, there are some handmade, beautiful designed, boxes with required correct dimensions, currently available at O’Driscolls Garden Centre on the Mill Road here in Thurles, all at very affordable prices.

Rear opening entrance to Blue Tit nesting box

For those of you who already possess a nesting box, it’s time again, to clean out and maintained same, to ensure tenants for this coming Spring and Summer.

Old nests should be removed in the autumn or winter, preferably from October onwards, once parents and their brood have moved out of their home.

Birds, particularly Blue Tits, start early in their hunt for social housing. The site appears most often to be chosen by the wife, with the interior and entrance having been measured by the husband, using his wings as a tape measure. Blue Tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) love artificial nest-boxes and are probably the most common occupiers of same here in the Irish Republic.

The female of the Blue Tit species will build her nest alone, with her mate following her around to make sure that no other males make contact with her. This stated, it is estimated that over 40% of Blue Tit nests will contain at least one hatched chick that is possibly being reared by a male that is not its father.

Later, the male will feed the female, while she remains nesting and youngsters will leave the nest around three weeks after hatching occurs.

The old nests built by most birds can harbour nasty parasites, so once last year’s nest has been removed from the box, use boiling water to rid same of parasites. Let the box dry out thoroughly, before replacing the lid or back portion.

Remember parasites that remain can infest young birds that hatch the following year, so do scald the box out well and avoid, totally, the use of any form of disinfectant, soap solution, insecticide or parasite powder.

Try to avoid cleaning out your nest box in September, thus ensuring the nest is no longer active, as some species can nest right through until the end of September, each year.

The box shown here possibly because of its positioning; remaining clear of animals or destructive humans, has raised, over a 3 year period, 4 families of blue tits numbering in all 42; from a total of 42 eggs.

Where To Erect A Bird Nesting Box.

Correctly built nesting boxes are best constructed from untreated timber.
Boxes for tits should be fixed at least two metres high (6ft) on a tree or a wall. Remember, if attached to a tree use soft cable ties rather than nails to secure your nesting box.

The success of the box, shown herewith, is the fact that it is partly hidden by overhanging vegetation, thus allowing the bird to vanish into overhanging ivy branches before accessing the box itself.
While experts state that nesting boxes should face between north and east in direction, thus avoiding strong sunlight, driving summer rain and wind; this box faces south protected and shaded by the overhanging ivy, with no complaints from Blue Tit tenants.


1 comment to Last Opportunity To Clean Out & Maintain Bird Nesting Box.

  • Katie

    George, I already have done just that. We get a lot of Karawans (small Parrots)coming into our back garden at this time of year. A mother and 5 of her babies came in a few weeks ago. Shocked to see so many of them with damaged legs. One little Karawan could only hop on one of his legs, so she stayed near us for over a week. I bought her some nice beef but it did not help. To many crows coming down trying to attack her, so I had to ring the animal number to come and pick her up. Well George, the carer told us that there was no hope for her, as her foot was useless and she had been picked on the head by the crows. But at least George I tried. We get so many animals here a nesting box unfortunately would not be a good idea.
    It was announced that 900.000 have died in America from Covid-19. God Bless and take care.

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