Going to the Birds

Pergola nesting boxes

Australia’s birdlife is amazing and diverse. But our birds are in a bit of trouble because their natural nesting sites are fast disappearing as more trees are cut down and old buildings are demolished or repaired. One way you can help these birds continue to thrive and survive is by building nest boxes in your pergola.

A nest box is simply that — a wooden container that a bird can crawl into to build its nest. They are relatively easy to build and require virtually no maintenance (the bird does that for you). But what you get in return for this tiny act of generosity is the enjoyment of seeing birds nesting in your yard and the opportunity to contribute to conservation research and initiatives.

A pergola makes for an excellent nest box site. Posts are usually of suitable height, and the roofing’s overhang protects the nest box from excessive sun and rain. You just need to make sure the box is out of reach of cats and other potential predators. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds provides these guidelines for selecting a nest box site.

Birdlife Australia runs a program called “Birds in Backyards,” where they let you answer surveys that help them gather information about birds in your area, as well as participate in building bird-friendly spaces in your home and community. These and other initiatives help researchers learn how birds are doing in your area and help them formulate more effective conservation programs.

Follow this link to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website with detailed instructions on how to build a simple nest box.


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