In Australia, many native species need tree hollows, this includes 17 % of bird species, 42 % of mammals and 28 % of reptiles (Gibbons and Lindenmayer 1997). Many hollows that form in trees take up to 100 years to form naturally. However, ongoing forest clearing, tree maintenance in residential areas and forest fire have seen a significant loss of these natural hollows across Australia.
Although not the ideal solution one way to support wildlife in the short term is installing a nesting box. When building artificial hollows many things must be considered as different species have different needs from the internal space for nesting, entrance holes and the materials used.
Materials uses to make a simple nesting box – Global Learning Festival 2021
Typically wood would be the best material but not any. As it must be natural untreated timber, free of varnishes, stains or oils. For thermal stability, the timber should be 20mm or great in thickness. Here is an example of a simple medium-sized nesting box you can make using the recycled timer from pallets and shipping crates.
Rear plank – 600 x 195 x 20mm x 1 off
Side plank – 400 x 195 x 20mm x 2 off
Front plank – 325 x 195 x 20mm x 1 off
Bottom plank – 150 x 195 x 20mm x 1 off
Roof plank – 280mm x 195mm x 20mm x 1 off
Other Materials Include
Button head Phillips drive No.8 x 15mm Zink Gal. needlepoint screws x 6 off
Countersunk rib head Philips drive No.8 x 40mm Zink Gal. Timber screws. 12 off
Cloth reinforced rubber insertion strip 50 wide x 1mm cut 195mm x 2 off
Galvanized Fixing Band 12×0.7mm X 195mm x 2 off
Non-toxic child safe waterproof general-purpose sealant (Boyle industries EN71-3)
Recommended Dimensions for Nest Boxes
There are different requirements for wildlife nesting boxes that are specially designed to incorporate essential features that mimic the characteristics of their natural nesting hollows. Here are the vital statistics for nest boxes designed to be used by certain species.
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