Whats going on down on the Farm?
National Nest Box Week
Hot on the heels of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is the National Nest Box Week. This runs from 14th -21st February, as traditionally wild birds pair up on Valentine’s day. We’re not suggesting that you buy your loved one a Nest Box instead of a Valentine’s gift or card, but it certainly could be a lovely long- lasting gift and might be just the best most unusual gift you could give if you’re sure that it would be well received.
We might think it’s cold and wintry outside, but the birds are thinking about pairing up and finding the best place to set up home for the breeding season, which is where the Nest Box comes in.
National Nest Box Week was set up by the British Trust for Ornithology or BTO about ten years ago and is now firmly established on the Bird Watching calendar. This is a great project if you can get involved as we have been told that many nesting sites have disappeared, such as old barns, holes in trees and wasteland, so if a nest box can be installed in your garden or on the side of a garage or shed etc this might be a great time to help the birdlife in your area.
There are many types of nest boxes on the market or you could also consider making one yourself. If you already have a bird box and are considering putting up another one it’s a good idea for these to be at least 40m apart to reduce the risk of predators, plus birds will need a clear flight path to the box and please also be aware of the ground underneath the nest box. This could be important when the youngsters are leaving the nest as shrubs etc could cushion their fall or offer them a hiding place if there are predators about before they are confident fliers. There are so many things to consider but essentially, it’s a great idea to help the birdlife and could give you hours of entertainment too. The idea behind this is if you wished you could install a webcam and then observe the birds nesting and eventually watch the fledglings when they make their first flights away from home. Many of our customers have these webcams and have even sent us videos from them, these are fascinating, and I’m hoping we can install one in our garden this year too.
During nesting and breeding the birds require a lot of energy just to stay warm and we advise if possible that you give them a high energy wild bird food, one that is oil rich and contains husk free, so the birds don’t waste their energy in the cold weather by shelling e.g. sunflower seeds. Sunflower hearts, groats, peanuts, suet pellets and pinhead oatmeal are excellent for providing these and our Laverock Hall High Energy mix contains all these seeds plus more besides, including dried mealworms too so this could be an ideal food for the birds in your garden at this time of year.
Any more information about National Nest Box week can be found at the link below – they also have instructions how to make your own nestbox – Good Luck