Another Spring is here along with yet another attempt to rent the bird house on the old Manitoba Maple tree. Many years ago, I built two oversized boxes in the hope that Eastern Screech owls would nest in them. No dice! Each winter the owls do use them for roosting and as a larder but they are not satisfied with the location for raising a family. Too public, perhaps?
Anyway, White-Breasted Nuthatches always show a keen interest in one box in particular. Unfortunately, every year they are out-competed by squirrels and/or European Starlings. This Spring I decided to lend the nuthatches a hand by customizing the box just for them. I made a new front with a smaller box to fit inside the larger box. All of the books and websites I consulted said that the entrance hole should be 1 1/4 inches wide for White-Breasted Nuthatches. So I drilled to this measurement and attached a squirrel proof metal guard, which was also 1 1/4 inches wide.
|Custom built for my White-Breasted Nuthatch friends.|
|Up the fourteen foot ladder and installation completed.|
|The metal guard means "Squirrels Need Not Apply".|
|The small opening means "Starlings Need Not Apply".|
|The faux-bark is a bit cheesy, but the interior is brand new! Do have a look!|
The following video clearly shows that the recommended entrance size is just too small!
So, up the ladder again, and down with the box for alteration. I enlarged the hole a little and added a 1 1/2 inch center metal guard. I also removed the perch. Bingo! The McNutties love it! I expect they will be moving their furniture (bits of bark) in soon.
|Enlarged the entrance to 1 3/8 inch diameter. The guard's center is 1 1/2 inch wide.|
|A prospective tenant checks the alteration.|
|Hm-m-m, it does seems roomier!|
|A flash of chestnut coloured nickers shows he's fitting in.|
|After a few minutes of inspecting the interior, he emerges.|
|"I love it! Of course, the missus will have the final say."|