Over the next couple of weeks, Wardens and Volunteers at Wandlebury Country Park will be undertaking the annual bird nest box inspections around the park. This will involve the removal of last year's nesting material (and even the odd unhatched egg!), to ensure that boxes remain clean and parasite free for this year's nesting, and the replacement of any boxes that have deteriorated significantly. New nest boxes will also be installed in the wooded edges of the newly planted chalk grassland, so keep your eyes peeled for birds carrying nesting material!

Both our bird and bat boxes (see the photo below for the difference) are installed to maximise the available nesting and roosting habitat for birds and bats respectively.  They seek to emulate the  cracks and crevices in older trees that would naturally provide these habitats, but which are sadly becoming less common. Checking the boxes in the winter also allows us to estimate the prevalence of the bird species that occupied them in the summer, or in the case of bats, licensed volunteers are able to count the exact number of individuals and species that are hibernating in the boxes.

Below photo: Bird box above, bat box below
If you are keen to hang your own bird boxes up at home, here are some helpful tips:
  • There are many different types of nest box that each suit a different range of species, so do some research as to which might be most suitable for the species that you commonly see in your garden.
  • Ideally, set your nest box up on a North to East facing surface. Never hang your box facing South, as it will become too hot and could kill any chicks inside!
  • Boxes should be installed at least 1.5 metres above ground.
  • Open fronted boxes, for Robins or Wrens, should be well hidden from view in order to reduce visibility to predators such as Magpies.

Warden: James Allsop