Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Early spring is the time when the enthusiastic bird lover and nest box owner can last check and clean their nest boxes. This will ensure that they are fully prepared for the breeding season and will significantly increase the likelihood of a garden full of whistling birds in the spring. It may be that old remains of last year's nests still need to be removed or that there are still traces of use by birds in the winter. Either way, a used nest box can be very unhygienic, which means it will probably not be visited by birds and a new nest will not be built. That would be a shame! Therefore, inform your customers about the advantages of cleaning nesting boxes just before spring and offer them the right tools to do so.
Tips & Tools
1. Clean used hives
Remove the box from the tree, fence or wall. Open the side, front or roof of the box by using the hook and/or hinge. Put on gloves and remove the old nest, nesting material, old twigs and droppings from the nesting box, this can also be done with a shovel. Make sure all parasites and pests are dead by pouring boiling hot water (no soap!) through the nest box. Wipe and scrub all remaining filth out of the hive with hot water and a hard brush. If there is still stubborn caked-on material, try using a scraper as well. Now let the birdhouse dry. This takes a little longer with a nesting box made of wood.
2. Offer extra protection against predators
Eggs and young birds are often threatened by predators that can enter the nest box through the opening. A basket offers protection against predators such as squirrels, martens and cats, but alsoprevents threats from Woodpeckers. These sometimes take possession of another nest box by carving out the flight opening. Mounting separate protective plates on the nest box offers protection against hacking out the entrance opening of Blue Tit and Great Tit nest boxes. The protection materials should preferably be mounted on a nest box outside the breeding season, spring cleaning is therefore a good time.
3. Hang back the cleaned nesting boxes
Hang the nest box back in its old spot or choose a new spot at least 1.5 m high if it has been unoccupied for two seasons. Are you hanging it on the tree? Use tree-friendly nails of aluminum, rusty metal or copper nails can cause damage to trees. Hang back the cleaned box empty by the way. The birds like to choose the nesting material themselves from nature or from the garden. This does not mean that you cannot give birds a helping hand in finding natural nesting material. For example, lay down natural nesting material like the fluffy nesting material of the kapok tree. The green spring steel reservoir with a roof functions not only as a food hanger, but also serves as a nesting depot for the kapok. You can easily fill it up when the nesting material has been used up.