Novelty Bird Nesting Boxes
Home owners are extending their taste for designer accessories to bird nesting boxes.
For some, the humble wooden nesting box simply doesn’t have the right look. A variety of weird and wonderful bird nesting boxes are appearing in gardens.
However, these have been designed with the householder in mind and not the birds.
The RSPB has warned that these novelty nesting boxes could actually present a risk to the lives of the birds who use them.
Style over Substance
No concrete evidence has been gathered but the RSPB suspects that brightly coloured bird nesting boxes could attract the attention of predators. Image conscious home owners who are keen to feature nesting boxes in their gardens may be doing more harm than good. The neighbours will certainly be able to admire the extravagant nesting boxes in bright colours and designed to look like windmills and pubs, but so will their cats!
The safest haven for baby birds is an inconspicuous nesting box which is sensibly positioned and fashioned from the right material.
It is known that ceramic nesting boxes and those made from metal and plastic are unsuitable. Ceramic nesting boxes offer insufficient insulation for young birds. Metal and plastic boxes can suffer from condensation leading to baby birds becoming damp and cold. Metal roofs can retain an excessive amount of heat on warmer days turning the nesting boxes into saunas. Baby birds will then overheat. The reports that it has received several calls from concerned members of the pubic who have found metal boxes full of dead birds.
Novelty nesting boxes have become very popular in recent years but they really aren’t a good idea. Boxes should be chosen to suit the birds who will use them and not to appeal to the tastes of fashion conscious home owners.
The Perfect Bird Nesting Boxes
It is really important that more gardens feature nesting boxes as these can help garden bird species whose numbers are in decline. These include sparrows and starlings.
The best material for bird boxes is wood and this is usually also the most cost effective choice. Boxes should have no perches. Birds do not need a perch and they tend to come in rather handy for predators. A good nesting box is a simple affair with no unusual features on the exterior which could harm the birds on their way in and out of the box. It should be robust, waterproof and rough on the inside. A smooth surface inside the box could make it hard for young birds to get out. There should be no sharp edges, staples or protruding nails.
If you are building your own nesting box then it is essential that you construct one with an appropriate depth and the right size of hole. Check with the RSPB as to the ideal dimensions for the species you wish to attract.
A good bird box may appear uninteresting to humans and will never be a show stopper but it will help the garden birds.