Bird Box Design and Monitoring

May 30, 2015   //   by Iris Rogan   //   Latest News  //  No Comments

Bird Box design

Bird Box design

This is our traditional design of front access nesting boxes and the ones used for this project. Note the lid sits on top of the back of the box thus making it more waterproof. All boxes are screwed together rather than nailed thus allowing the wood to be pulled together making the boxes even more secure and weatherproof. Galvanized screws being used for assembly and fixing to trees. For access to the box, the front pivots inward at the top (note overlap of timber at bottom) allowing easy access to ring nestlings and for cleaning purposes when all young have fledged. Boxes should be cleaned out for hygiene purposes after use (where possible) as birds will roost in them throughout the winter months.

Workshop 1

2 members of the Greystoke Forest Ringing Group gave a brief introduction on the benefits of using bird and bat boxes, species of birds most likely to utilize the boxes within the park area and demonstrating the assembly of a bird and bat box. The children were then eager to ‘get on with it’. All boxes were screwed together rather than nailed making a more secure fixing. Finished boxes were then left on site until the remainder were assembled. As some of the children found it very difficult to use the proper equipment, it was decided to make the remainder of boxes up off site and store at the centre until they were ready for putting up.

Workshop 2

On March 30th 2009 36 boxes were put up around the park. All bird boxes were faced north, this being a more sheltered position and facing away from the direct heat of the sun. The bird boxes were numbered 1 to 22. The bat boxes remained unnumbered for the present. The children arrived for the after school club at approx. 16.00 hrs and when a brief talk took place prior to taking them round and selecting a numbered box for each of the children. This was to be their personal box which they could monitor throughout the project. Simple but effective recording forms were to be produced for each child to complete when box monitoring took place, giving a complete data set for each numbered box. The children were really excited when choosing their own box and we look forward to our first visit and box checking.

Bird ringing

Bird ringing

All the nestlings at each individual box will be ringed with a unique numbered metal ring for future identification. Bird ringing within the UK is undertaken by fully trained and qualified volunteers licensed by and working on behalf of The British Trust for Ornithology. 2009 is the 100 anniversary of the Trust. More details as to why birds are ringed etc.and much more information can be found on their web site www.bto.org. Please have a look to widen your knowledge and see the amazing work which the BTO are involved with.

 

First checking of boxes

First checking of boxes

The boxes were put up on 30th March 2009 and arrangements were made for first checking on 20th May 2009. The children were quite excited and were eager to see what was in their specific numbered boxes. Seven boxes were occupied (31.8%) which was an excellent return for the first year. We also had a Pipistrelle Bat fly out of bird box no.22 when checking for occupancy. None of the Bat boxes were checked. Updates of ringing etc to follow after next visit. Ready for action, well nearly all!

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