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Posts Tagged ‘nest boxes’

The prolonged wet weather that we have endured over the last few months has had a devastating affect on our wildlife says the National Trust, Birds, Bats, Butterflies and Bees have all been affected.

Pembroke Nest Box

Pembroke Nest Box

Birds have struggled to find food for themselves and their young, caterpillars and insects have literally been washed away, we can help birds now by giving them protein rich foods such as live mealworms and putting up nest boxes for shelter.

Double Chamber Wooden Bat Box

Double Chamber Wooden Bat Box

Bats have been affected due to the lack of insects on the wing, although we cannot provide a substitute food source we can provide somewhere warm and dry for them to roost and breed by putting up a Bat Box (or two).

Sedum

Butterflies and Bees have suffered as they cannot go foraging for nectar rich flowers in heavy rain and even the flowers that they found were full of water. Bee Keepers and farmers are warning of honey shortages and reduced fruit crops. We can help them by planting nectar rich flowers in the garden such as Buddleia, Scabious, Sedum, Catmint and Lavender, if you have not got a flower border consider growing these plants amongst your vegetables or in containers and window boxes.

Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station

Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station

Why not put up a Butterfly/Bee Nectar feeding Station or a Butterfly and Moth Feeder to provide some instant food, as well as a Bee Hive or Bee Log for shelter and breeding. Have a look here for more advice on attracting butterflies to your garden.

Frogitat - Ceramic Frog and Toad House

Frogitat Ceramic Frog and Toad House

Frogs and Hedgehogs have actually benefited during the wet weather, they have had a plentiful supply of food including worms, slugs, snails and the insects that have been washed to the ground. It is worth looking after these true gardener’s friends during the winter months by putting a Frogitat or a Hogitat in a quiet, wild corner of your garden.

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

Lets hope that the change in the weather and the new position of the Gulf Stream remains throughout the summer, as we and our wildlife so desperately need some sustained sunshine.

Whilst it’s here let’s get out and enjoy it.

Gill

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The 2012 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch/Big Schools Birdwatch results have been published, this was something that we took part in on 28th/29th January. Just under 600,000 people took part and counted over 9 million birds, of over 70 species, in 285,440 gardens across the UK. In first place was the House Sparrow, second was the Starling, and third was the Blue Tit. Although second place, sadly, this survey revealed that Starlings are at an all time low, they were seen in fewer than half of the gardens with an average of three per garden. Research is now underway to find out more about their decline and they have now been placed on the red list as a bird of high conservation concern.

Starling Nest Box

To help this stunning glossy purple/green speckled bird why not put up a Starling Nest Box, designed specifically for the Starling it has a larger entrance hole and more space inside. It is still not too late to put up any type of Nest Box.

Single House Martin Nest Box

We have a multitude of nest boxes on the sides of our house (as it’s a semi-detached there is plenty of space) at the front we have a Single House Martin Nest Box ready for their return from Africa (these are proving very popular at the moment and our stocks at The Recycleworks are going out within days of arriving especially the Double Chamber House Martin Boxes) unfortunately last year the returning House Martins didn’t get a look in as the House Sparrows had occupied it first, so instead they built their own nests on our neighbours house across the road. They are elegant birds with their distinct white rump and forked tail, it’s lovely to hear them ‘chatter’ to each other.

Bowland Nest Box

Curiously there’s no shortage of nest boxes for the Sparrows, as at the back of the house there are nine single Nest Boxes spaced out in a terrace and a three chamber House Sparrow Terrace Nest Box, two of the chambers are being used by House Sparrows as are two of the single boxes. We have got a Nest Box Camera in one of these boxes and last year we were thrilled to watch eggs being laid, and the chicks hatching and being fed by their parents – what a privilege. One of the single boxes had a wasp nest in last year and I believe Bumble Bees also nest in them. At the side of the house we have another single nest box and two Swift Boxes (homemade) again all these are occupied by House Sparrows, we have quite an increasing colony which is lovely, but they do torment our poor cat ‘Bramble’.

Camera Ready Nest Box

So why not put up some bird boxes you never know who will make their home in them!

Love your wildlife

Gill

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This year between 14th – 21st February it is National Nest Box Week, this event is organised by the BTO to encourage people to put up nest boxes in their gardens schools, or local green spaces. It was launched in 1997 because birds natural nest sites were disappearing, as trees were being cut down, old houses were being repaired and gardens were being ‘tidied’. Since then it is estimated that between 5 – 6 million nest boxes have been put up by nature lovers across the U.K. By putting up nest boxes now you are giving the birds a chance to become familiar with them before the breeding season starts and also give them a safe place to roost at night.

There are different types of nest boxes available small or large boxes with holes, open fronted nest boxes, very large nest boxes, and community nest boxes each can attract different species of birds, so don’t just put up one box why not spoil the birds and put up a few different types.

If you are a serious bird watcher or a keen enthusiast the addition of a Wildlife Camera in your nest box would be invaluable, you can watch the birds from nest building to the young fledging, and in the comfort of your home.

To get the most out of your nest box, take part in Nest Box Challenge and help the BTO to monitor the breeding success of birds in Britain’s green spaces. To take part, simply register your nest box online and then give them regular updates on whether it is used, what birds are using it, and the progress of any nests.

Remember that any time of the year is a good time to put up a Nest Box.

As this event starts on Valentines Day and if you love birds why not treat them to a nest box or two!

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The 29th and 30th January is the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB.  A shortage of nesting sites often limits the number of birds that live in a garden, and by providing nest boxes, bird numbers will increase.

Now is the time to clean out and renew nest boxes as in around a month, birds will be looking for a home for the family.  There are lots of nest boxes on the market, click here for our favourites.

Open Birch Log Nest Box – £10.21
Birch Log Hole Nest Box – £11

We also love this superior quality Tawny Owl Nest Box .  Designed perfectly for tawny owls and beautifully constructed it will last for many years.

 

Tawny Owl Nest Box - £77

And for the highly sociable, ever declining House Sparrow, these lovely wooden House Sparrow Terraces are brilliant!

Timber House Sparrow Terrace - £29.99

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Well it’s the beginning of October, so we are thinking darker nights, dewy cobwebbed mornings and autumn leaves.  … And this month is also all about pumpkins. 

So for the Family Competition this month we would like to know how you like to eat your pumpkins – in soup, a pie or something a little different please do send your suggestions in.  We will feature our favourites here on the blog and the best of the bunch will win a copy of the brilliant book Grow It Eat It, along with a lovely Willow Herb Planter and a selection of Seeds.  For all the details of how to enter please click here.

As the weather becomes a bit more unpredictable it’s always good to have a few indoor activties up your sleeve so for this months School Competition we have a fun autumn wordsearch for you to unravel. 

All the details of how to enter can be found here, and the first correct entry out of the hat will win a fabulous selection of bird feeding goodies to keep you feathered visitors to the school playground, happy during the colder days ahead.  Included will be a Ground Bird Table made from FSC wood, a Laminated Guide to Garden Birds, a Bird Window Feeder, a bag of High Energy Bird Mix and a Birch Log Nest Box.

…And remember both our competitions close on 31st October 2010 – so enter today!   Good Luck.

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