Nest Boxes & Bird Houses
Monday, 16th March 2015
So on to the next stage. Another worrying time for the surrogate parents – that’s you, and me! Hopefully, all the eggs hatch, but often one or two are infertile or get broken. Keep an eye on the box. If the adults suddenly start coming and going more often that is a good sign, especially if they are bringing in caterpillars or other small insects. Occasionally, one might emerge carrying what resembles a small white balloon. This is a faecal sack –shrink wrapped poo!- which mum or dad will take away so that the nest stays clean Needless to say , if it were left to the youngsters it would be a right old mess. I am sure you know the syndrome!
A well made nest box is perhaps the safest site a pair of garden birds could raise a family, but it doesn’t guarantee success. A predator –most likely a cat -could kill one of the adults. A single parent might have trouble finding enough food (definitely time to supply extra rations), a spell of cold wet weather could chill the chicks, or the box might be raided by a squirrel, Jay, Magpie or even a Great Spotted Woodpecker who is capable of drilling his way in. Do not hesitate to surround the box with a safety fence of wire mesh. It wont deter the tits, but it will keep out the raiders.
Then comes the big finale, the day when the freshly feathered fledglings leave their box and venture out into the big wonderful world of –your garden!
Written by Bill Oddie