Assembling Your Nest Box
If you have purchased a flat pack nest box, assembly is simple and only requires a cross head (Phillips) screwdriver.
Each box is provided with the necessary galvanised/zinc plated screws and consists of six (6) pre-drilled panels. Each panel is marked on the inside as;
1. Refer to attached diagram.
Ensure that you have all panels and the screws for the box.
2. Start with the two side walls first and attach these to the shorter length of the base. The side walls should align evenly with the base.
3. Attach the front and back walls.
4. Secure all four sides together with the provided screws.
5. Secure the top (nb - you may be best advised to secure the top only after the box has been prepared for mounting).
If you are using a mounting kit, attach this to the rear wall, prior to assembling the box. Best to screw through the rear panel and into the mounting piece. Ensure that the keyhole is facing upwards.
When mounting to a tree or post, firstly screw the top coach screw half way into the mounting point at the preferred height. Then slip the box over the screw and tighten up. Then attach the lower screw through the lower mounting point and tighten up.
Preparing Your Nest Box For Mounting
Your nest box may be attached to the tree in one of two ways.
It may be attached by drilling two holes in the rear wall of the box up near the top and passing a length of plastic coated wire (such as that used for clothes lines) and then passed around the tree. This method helps to preserve the tree (providing you do not allow the growth of the tree to exceed the length of wire), the only downside being that the holes may add an unwanted draft to the box, depending on how you position it.
Alternatively the box can be attached direct to the tree trunk (or branch) itself. This is best achieved by attaching a mounting piece to the rear of the box that extends approx. 50mm either end of the box. The mounting piece can then be screwed or nailed to the tree.
Painting Your Nest Box
Your nest box does not have to be painted. However it is recommended that you give the exterior of the box only, a protective coat to extend the life of the box.
The boxes can be finished in either, oil (decking oil, linseed oil), varnish or paint.
Nest Boxes Australia recommends a good quality exterior water based paint such as Dulux Weathershield, or a water based decking oil such as Intergrain in a Merbau colour. Two to three good coats should ensure that the box is protected for several years.
The interior of the box should never be painted and should be left as it is – raw untreated wood.
Mounting Your Nest Box
Select the place where you wish to mount the nest box.
This should be in an area away from direct afternoon sunlight and at the recommended height for the species that you are targeting. The rule of thumb is to put the box up as high as is practically possible, usually around 4 metres.
Great care should be exercised when using ladders and climbing trees – please use caution!
Operation & Maintenance of Your Nest Box
Birds are shy creatures by nature and will not necessarily take up residence the day after you install your box. Exercise patience and allow the birds time to get used to the new addition to their neighbourhood. It is highly likely that the birds will watch the box for some time before adopting their new place.
Birds do not live in the boxes year round. They are used solely for the purpose of hatching and raising chicks and they will “fly the coop” at the end of the breeding season. This is when the top should be removed from your box and cleaned out in readiness for the following season.