It’s been really busy here on the reserve over the past week or so. I think it’s partly due to the fact that we have all been cooped up all winter and Easter is the perfect time to escape to the great outdoors! There are times when I get stuck in the office, trying to catch up on paperwork but over the past few days my Seasonal Ranger Adam and I have been checking all our bird boxes, removing damaged ones and having a sneak peek to see if any ‘early birds’ have started nest building yet.
Alas, it seems it is still too cold and we have seen no evidence of nest building as yet (it is still early). I thought you might be interested to hear about the sort of things we have been finding though. Quite a few of our boxes had lots of bird droppings in, which show they are being used as an overnight roost. I remember in my old job a wren used to use a nest box regularly, just outside my office window as their overnight roost. They are a guaranteed warm, dry place to stay and in woodland such as ours that doesn’t have many older trees, it can be difficult to find crevices to roost in.
We have also found a variety of nesting materials from the usual mosses to one full of badger and deer fur! One of our larger boxes looks like a pair of jackdaws may have used it, as it was full of twigs. One of the reasons we clean out these boxes is to get rid of any parasites living in the nesting material, this gives the birds the best chance of success for the coming year.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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