Backyard To Do: Build a Bird Nesting Box or Platform

Yesterday, I posted a photo and a short video of (a first-time) male Cardinal visiting our window-hung bird feeder box that had been up for more than four months.  In that post, I mentioned that I was a skeptic of window-hung feeders and nesting boxes, but now my own eyes have shown me that - in the right conditions - a bird will perch on something right outside your windows.  It also had me wondering if one of those window-hung nesting boxes (where you can *see* the nest and eggs from the inside of the house) would actually work.  I'm still not sure that they're viable (based on the Amazon reviews), but going down that path also had me nose around for plans for nesting boxes and platforms.

After all, we're a Certified Wildlife Habitat and that comes with a requirement of providing shelter and places to raise young.  To that end, a couple of Summers ago, we built a bird nesting shelf and hung it in the back of the yard.  It hasn't gotten much attention/action, but it is there for use if someone comes across it and finds it suitable. 

This year, I've talked about wanting to build some outdoor things - and some of them will certainly go on my 2020 to-do list - but I'm now thinking I should add a nesting box or platform to the list.  The folks at the Cornell Lab Nest Watch have posted plans for all sorts of bird nesting boxes including one for our Upper Midwest friend the Robin.  Here's a snapshot (below) of their plan - that calls for simply a 1" x 10" x 4' board.  Untreated.

This plan is via NestWatch.org.  Original source here

This is the same plan I followed on our first shelf where I used some plywood that I had on hand.  Seems like we could think about building a couple more of these, but the issue is going to be where to mount it:  from my experience, Robins like to nest in places that are attached to buildings/structures.  I don't really want to mount this to the house, but, perhaps I can find some spots on trees or on a pole that simulates that 'sheltered' effect. 

Either way...I'm going add this - or a different kind of nesting box (like this one for White-breasted Nuthatches) to my 2020 to-do list.   These seem like something I can install myself, but there are others - like this Great Horned Owl nesting cone that would require an arborist to install due to the height.  If we get someone out to climb our trees, maybe I should remember to cobble one of those together.

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