Nest Box Plans

Information about releasing flyers to the wild, removing them from the home and attracting them to your yard.
Joan
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Nest Box Plans

Postby Joan » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:13 pm

"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Mary
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Nest Box Plans for wild flyers-questions

Postby Mary » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:16 am

I had finished making one large 3 shelf box except for porthole covers. The sections are 9" and 2 are 10inches

I put the portholes in the top entrance and bottom nesting section like the instructions, but I think this is wrong.

I read that woodpeckers will try to reach the babies and with a porthole in the top of the bottom section, then it would be easy for them.
We have alot of woodpeckers.

How long should a single nest box be made so a woodpeckers tongue can not reach the FS or babies?

Shouldn't the exit porthole be in the second chamber, not the 3rd, to protect the babies and not in the nesting area?

Shouldn't the exit port hole be on the opposite side to confuse the predator?
Thanks for any advice.
Mary

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Re: Nest Box Plans for wild flyers-questions

Postby Joan » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:06 pm

[quote="Mary"] ... I read that woodpeckers will try to reach the babies and with a porthole in the top of the bottom section, then it would be easy for them. We have alot of woodpeckers.

Mary, I always tack on a one inch strip of wood from side to side under the entrance hole. This "shelf" prevents critters from getting their head or arms in to get that pups. Raccoons can't bend an elbow to reach down.

How long should a single nest box be made so a woodpeckers tongue can not reach the FS or babies?

The shelf may help as they'd have to reach straight out and curve back under the shelf. I don't know a lot about woodpecker tongues though.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Mary
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Re: Nest Box Plans for wild flyers-questions

Postby Mary » Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:51 am

The shelf may help as they'd have to reach straight out and curve back under the shelf. I don't know a lot about woodpecker tongues though.[/quote]

I had a half inch shelf on the outside but putting one on the inside may help too.
Did you put one on the inside?

I still don't think a porthole in the bottom nest area is good. I took the side off and will redo it.

IF they do need these nest boxes, WHEN do they need to be put up for their use? By end of Feb? Why are nest boxes empty in Jan and Feb? Thats our cold winter months. I am trying to reasearch and learn all I can to help the wild Ones.

Thanks
Mary

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Re: Nest Box Plans for wild flyers-questions

Postby Joan » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:47 pm

[quote="Mary"] ... I had a half inch shelf on the outside but putting one on the inside may help too. Did you put one on the inside?

Yes, on the inside ... mainly to keep raccoons out.


I still don't think a porthole in the bottom nest area is good. I took the side off and will redo it.

Cool ... let us know how it goes.

IF they do need these nest boxes, WHEN do they need to be put up for their use? By end of Feb?

Any time ... they can use them year round.

Why are nest boxes empty in Jan and Feb? Thats our cold winter months. I am trying to reasearch and learn all I can to help the wild Ones.

I don't know unless they found something they liked better ... sometimes they will get into large colonies for warmth and may need a big space.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Mary
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Re: Nest Box Plans for wild flyers-questions

Postby Mary » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:03 am

Should i hang the boxes closer to the feeder or should I put them farther in the woods?


I'm not sure it matters. My initial thought was further in the woods so feeding flyers don't disturb residents, but everyone's out at the same time. Except new mom who might get aggitated by heavy traffic.

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Postby Deb » Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:53 am

OK, this is info I got from someone whom I later found out may have "harvested" pups to sell. But I did what he said and after 2 years have a wild flyer population in my woods using the flyer village we set up. Make your houses about 8"x8" with a 1 1/2" hole. Attach a square of hardwear cloth around the hole so predetors and other animals can't chew it bigger. Attach the roof with only 2 finishing nails so you can check what's in there(this we don't do. our tenets remain unmolested) Fill the houses with cleaned spanish moss and hang on trees at least 6' up about 50' away from each other. In the midst of your village put a feeding station platform and provide a good spread by dusk each evening. He then told me he used to get a large amount of his babies from others that used this method. They stuff a sock into the hole to keep the mom from bolting and raise the roofs to check for babies about every 3 weeks. He then told me this was now only for research projects. He also told me some other stuff that I think were lies. But we wanted to provide a habitat for wild flyers so we did it to these specs and sure enough some of the Connahatta funi hicka found their way to our little 6 house village. We live next to a Choctaw Indian reservation, and 'funi hicka' is squirrel flying in Choctaw. The spelling is mine since Choctaw is not a written language. David has been making a few more houses to add to the habitat. And we don't feed every night anymore but there are acorns apleanty and we planted blueberry bushes and wild roses for them. They get a fresh pile of nut&berry at least once a week and loads of nuts in the shell to keep 'em busy. I've been taking out a pie plate with mealworms in oatmeal fairly often since I feel there may be babies. It's not close to the house so they really are a very wild colony, but we do plan to do it again close to the house one day. We have tenets in our house next door with a cat that is outside a lot so we feel that they are better off not getting too used to human houses and yards right now. We'll try to lure them closer when it's safer for them.

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Postby Mary » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:01 am

Deb
Thank You so much for sharing your information. My purpose is strickly to keep them wild but safe. We have a rural neighborhood but lots of woods. Many predators of larger squirrels, woodpeckers and racoons etc.

I made my smaller box 9x16 so it would be deeper to protect the nest from other critters reaching in. I did put a 1" shelf on the inside to help so racoons don't get them.
My 2nd box is so large that I want to cut it down smaller today. I love the idea of a village and think it would be better in our woods then having big nest boxes.

In my search I thought the 1 1/4" hole would be safer for them. If 1 1/2 is better then I will redo the hole entrance and find bigger metal washers for the larger holes.

I had been taking cotton balls out to my feeding tray but they have not taken any. I will get some spanish moss and put it in the boxes.

Do you cook the mothers oats and add mealworms in it or just giving it to them out of the box?

I don't think we have but a few around here but I need to protect them as much as I can. I have only seen one come to my feeder but he comes every night for the nuts and sunflower seeds.

One last question.

Out here in my Ohio neighborhood, I think they should be alittle higher. What do you suggest?

I have seen where the bottom of the nest box should be placed 12 to 15' high on the tree. It is going to be very hard for me to clean the boxes at this height each year. You mentioned 6' high. We do have outside cats around here and maybe putting it higher will be better just so I can open it up for cleaning. I think they leave the nest if it gets to dirty from what I read.
That one little FS scampered almost to the top of the big oak tree before he went out of site one night. He had come to the feeder earlier then usual so I had the honor of watching him. I have seen him on the feeder a few times but in a blink of your eye, he is gone. One night I watched him make 5 fast trips. Now he comes really late after I go to bed. I check feeder each morning before dawn to see what food is missing.

Deb and Joan, thank you so much for helping me accomplish what I need to do help these little FS. They are so tiny and fragile and I am so excited to have them around after all these years of living here and not knowing they even existed until last summer.

I don't mean to be a pest. I am just driven to keep them safe so they will stay here.
THANK YOU
Mary

Deb
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Postby Deb » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:02 pm

I hope you soon have the trees full of flyers Mary. I noticed after you mentioned the size of the nest box hole, I posted 1 1/2". I did not mean that, I was told 1 1/4". Glad you caught that. As far as the height being at least 6", remember the guy telling me this was trying to teach me how to make it easy to keep a close eye for babies. A couple of our boxes are as low as 6' and look like they are occupied. the others are somewhat higher, I stood on the bed of a Kowasaki Mule and reached as high up as I could up the tree to hang them. The 2 lower ones are because we couldn't pull the Mule close enough up to the trees. I grow my mealworms in raw oatmeal and just scoop up a bowlful of worms and oatmeal and put it all into a pie pan I leave there.

Mary
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Postby Mary » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:29 am

Deb I am glad to hear it is 1 14th. That means I think maybe I am done with these two nest boxes. Neighbor, Beth wants me to also hang the big one and not make it smaller. I think it should be smaller. I am not a carpenter so will ask my one brother to do the other 2 boxes I had planned on doing.

Darra, I love the porthole pattern and I traced it to use on the plexiglass that I found at the hardware store. I knew it was a bit thin and was going to put 2 layers at the porthole. I put duck tape on both the front and back and it still shattered. I did get the holes cut in it before cutting the outside and that worked good. I need to find thicker plexiglass and will keep looking. I went to Lowes to look, which they did not have any, but found some pipe washers that I am going to try on these boxes for now.

My brother Dan just stopped by and gave me some pointers. I want to make sure water doesn't get inside so will have to fix that. We have cold winter months and the last thing the little ones need is to get wet and freeze. He told me how to easily( for him maybe, LOL ) make the big box into 2. I might try that today, then have Brian put them up tomarrow.

I know, make a box, throw it up to the tree, they don't care. But I think alittle thought is needed and I have found alot of mistakes I have made along the way, putting this together. I want them not only to be safe but dry and warm.
Once these are done, the next ones I will get the supplies for and have Dan to make them. I will go back to what I know what I am doing-sewing and feeding all my little critters. LOL

I would also like to report that last night I got to watch my FS come to the feeder. I am not sure but this time I think it was 2 different ones. The one is kinda fatter then this other one. ( I think). The smaller one seemed alot more scared and grabbed food on the run. The fatter one would sit in the feeder just for a second longer and make sure the chestnut would not fall out of his mouth before he ran back up the tree. I am thinking that the feeder tree is where they nest at, high above. We have 3 oak trees between me and my neighbor with alot of squirrel nests and broken off branches. Wished I could see behind the tree where they run off too. I am so happy that things are coming together and soon will have "my little village" up or a good start.

All day yesterday, my little Peanut was in my shirt. We went to the "safe room" for him to adventure run and play. He would get down to my shoes and look all around then dart back up again. I had a cup of coffe on my sewing desk and he went right up and took a couple drinks. He makes me laugh so much. I had to put back in the cage about 5 and he just wanted me to keep holding him. Trying so hard to get back into my sleeve though the cage. Poor Baby.

Thank you Very much for you all your help. I got to get to the garage and work on the finishing touches of the nest boxes.(That should take me all day. Its cold out there so will come in to warm up some inbetween.

Mary

Mary
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Postby Mary » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:30 am

Deb I am glad to hear it is 1 14th. That means I think maybe I am done with these two nest boxes. Neighbor, Beth wants me to also hang the big one and not make it smaller. I think it should be smaller. I am not a carpenter so will ask my one brother to do the other 2 boxes I had planned on doing.

Darra, I love the porthole pattern and I traced it to use on the plexiglass that I found at the hardware store. I knew it was a bit thin and was going to put 2 layers at the porthole. I put duck tape on both the front and back and it still shattered. I did get the holes cut in it before cutting the outside and that worked good. I need to find thicker plexiglass and will keep looking. I went to Lowes to look, which they did not have any, but found some pipe washers that I am going to try on these boxes for now.

My brother Dan just stopped by and gave me some pointers. I want to make sure water doesn't get inside so will have to fix that. We have cold winter months and the last thing the little ones need is to get wet and freeze. He told me how to easily( for him maybe, LOL ) make the big box into 2. I might try that today, then have Brian put them up tomarrow.

I know, make a box, throw it up to the tree, they don't care. But I think alittle thought is needed and I have found alot of mistakes I have made along the way, putting this together. I want them not only to be safe but dry and warm.
Once these are done, the next ones I will get the supplies for and have Dan to make them. I will go back to what I know what I am doing-sewing and feeding all my little critters. LOL

I would also like to report that last night I got to watch my FS come to the feeder. I am not sure but this time I think it was 2 different ones. The one is kinda fatter then this other one. ( I think). The smaller one seemed alot more scared and grabbed food on the run. The fatter one would sit in the feeder just for a second longer and make sure the chestnut would not fall out of his mouth before he ran back up the tree. I am thinking that the feeder tree is where they nest at, high above. We have 3 oak trees between me and my neighbor with alot of squirrel nests and broken off branches. Wished I could see behind the tree where they run off too. I am so happy that things are coming together and soon will have "my little village" up or a good start.

All day yesterday, my little Peanut was in my shirt. We went to the "safe room" for him to adventure run and play. He would get down to my shoes and look all around then dart back up again. I had a cup of coffe on my sewing desk and he went right up and took a couple drinks. He makes me laugh so much. I had to put back in the cage about 5 and he just wanted me to keep holding him. Trying so hard to get back into my sleeve though the cage. Poor Baby.

Thank you Very much for you all your help. I got to get to the garage and work on the finishing touches of the nest boxes.(That should take me all day. Its cold out there so will come in to warm up some inbetween.

Mary

Mary
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Nest box update

Postby Mary » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:34 am

I made the big box into 2 nestboxes and my brother put them up in the trees for me.
Two are on the side of my property near the feeder and the 3rd one is was put in the back edge closer to the main woods area. I can only see the one that is in the back hill. No "renters" yet.

I did not get a chance to get spanish moss to put in them. Would it have any chemicals in it, if I got it from a craft store? Most of our garden centers are closed for the winter. Do you think it would make them move in faster if they had bedding in there ready for them to nest?

I still check my feeder almost every morning and chestnuts and acorns disappear. Looks like they nibbled on the Nut N Berry but not much. They don't touch the small all black sunflower seeds or the squirrel corn mix. Of course the walnut pieces, a few pecans are always gone from the feeder before the "big squirrels" and birds come to breakfast each morning. Trying to find variety is hard when they are so picky. LOL
I do need to buy more black and white sunflower seeds soon. They did like them better.
Thats about it for now.
Mary


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