2023 Rocklily Wombat Calendar NOW IN STOCK!

50 Nest Box's for Birds and Gliders Started Jan 2021

50 Nest Box's for Birds and Gliders Started Jan 21 

With almost no hollow nest sites in the burnt out landscape here Rocklily. We have started a project of building and installing nest box’s to replace all the fully burnt tree hollows that no longer exist. Most large old trees completely burnt out with fire ingress through their hollows. Hollows wont grow back in our lifetime.

Few birds remained remaining birds  and finally in the summer of 20-21 there was a larger variety seen although in small numbers only. glossy just 3, Gang Gangs 4 both nested here every year.  The Smiths were doing greater glider surveys (previously plentiful here) and discovered there is a small population at the top of Rocklily road, and we amazingly heard the haunting calls of a single yellow bellied glider all excited us to start our 50 Box's program funded by ourselves. 

Dianna did a-lot of research on designs of box's that had actual proof of usage plus read many professional papers about materials, placement, design and even what colour box's should be.  We decided that the website howllow log homes knew what they were talking about, and had a book on designs.  We have changed CD ply a greater thickness to 19 mm the back braces to spaced vertical to better fit trees.  Colour is 2 coats of good quality waterbased exterior paint off white very very light grey for a box we expect to get at least 21-25 years out of.  We are happy ti talk to people wanting to make box's. 

Our box’s are based on the book by Alan and Stacy Franks and nest Box tails.  www.hollowloghomes.com

 We set up a number of working stations in our huge shearing shed so we could accommodate people effectively making different parts of box's. 

Warwick Dianna and friend Portia drew up and cut all the box's from sheets of 19mm CD plywood (never use marine ply has toxic elements which as birds chew it will be a major issue)  Set up tools, made templets for drilling holes, sanding stations, paining, routing station for internal and external ladders, access Hole drilling, cutting and shaping stainless panio hinges, and attaching metal edging for  parrot box's. 

 We have had 3 volunteer working bees early  helping with build of some of the 45 Box's. A team of 4 from ARC and 2 seperate Sales Force teams of around 12 this has made a huge start on the 45 box's we were making.  Warwick and our amazing helper Portia cutting them all out and finishing them off and making and finishing alot themselves.  (see photos of teams below)  Box''s cost us between $50 to $80 depending on size and complexity.   

 

- Initial 31 Nest box's med small birds and small Gliders = $1,767 costs of materials.  

Arc has donated $475 for the 21mm towards plywood many thanks 

- 14 Extra boxs cost another $1400  ( mainly greater glider ) 

- Greater Glider and Yellow Bellied Glider nest boxs x 18 = $2,100 and we have now received funding from the Greater Eastern Ranges Greater Glider Program to cover the costs of these which really helps. 

- 10 x Browning Patriot Wildlife camera's SD cards x per camera and 8 aa batteries per camera. We hope a spend of around $3500 april 2022 when stocks arrive at retailer. 

Wildlife Cameras: We are starting to replace and add to our wildlife camera's so we can also monitor whats happening.  We have decided the  various wildlife camera's we have been using for 8 years on land based  wildlife are not giving us results needed when used on Gliding and flying wildlife.

Positioning the camera's so we do not need ladders to check them is important so finding the right tree's to place camera's means a 20-50 metre trigger range. We have grouped boxes so were looking at 10 cameras   this will come from our calendar sales this year. After much research we have chosen the Browning Patriot camera $350 ea we feel will be up to the job.

Greater glider box's with their entry against the tree. We chose a very light green grey to paint box's to blend with the gums were fixing them to as well as its 18 degrees cooler than a dark coloured box.  First 3 box's up in June then syd in lockdown, Then Drew our son returned to put up another 4 in a wet and windy weekend, in january 2022 we have the last 11 to go up in once Covid peak has passed in Drews time off from work to do this. 

 Box’s We made were for birds that were are all  common here pre bushfire and many we have seen one or 2 since. Note we purchased the 5 cockatubes.  
2 Squirrel Glider 
2 Feather tail Glider
18 Greater and Yellow belly Glider boxs
2 Owlet-nightjar
2 Owl / Wood duck
1 Black cockatoo/ Powerfull owl 
2 gang Gang cockatoo
2 King Parrot
2 Crimson Rosella
2 kookaburra
4 Tree creeper
2 spotted pardalote
4 Grey Strike thrush
Purchased 5 Cockatubes from landcare in Western Australia 
Preditor proofing box's. The main creditor here are large goanna's so each tree with nest box's has a large metal band or corrugated iron, its fitted so as to expand with tree for growth. 
What we have seen 
We have seen king parrots using box's and the kookaburra's seem to have returned, and are signted near box's although a smaller flock. We have wood ducks breeding hear for the first time and an increase in a number of birds all around.  The yellow bellied Glider seems to have stayed around here, we here its haunting calls and we hope its using a nest box. New camera's will tell us. 

 

 

- Glossy, red tail, and yellowtail ,Cockatube tubes x 5 at $475 ea plus freight from WA  $2,950 (seem to have the absolute best take up of Glossy cockatoos of all nest boxs and we have 3 glossy left still to go up.  There double walled with snow extra  flaps for our climate. They arrived black so got a coating of our green grey mix to ensure a more comfy summer temperature. There are 10-18 metres up so need professional Climbers to get them up. 

Juvenile local Gang gang was bought to us to release it had recovered from a mild concussion. He was released when the gang gang flock was around.

 

All our funds are raised as gifts on our website  We have researched and are using the most popular for the birds and gliders , plus using long lasting materials wanting 25 plus years from there. Hollows wont grow back in our lifetime.   So we have a $20 virtual gift available to help us in the online shop to help us cover some costs.

Our first working bee has cut 9 and almost finished 4 box's   Jan 23rd 2021 

a few in action shots.  Note box's will have a hardwood bit of tree slab on front with climbing ladder and painted for longevity in colours to match the forest.  Big thanks to Jane, Mark , Linda and Greg all from ACT (covid fee zone!)   Handy to have a big old shearing shed to set up this project in. 

King parrot, Gang gang, tree climber and Rossella boxes just need hardwood fronts and painting

King Parrot, Gang Gang, kookaburra and Crimson rosella, just need hardwood slabs on front and paint!

Pre drilling screw holes so timber wont split and screws are flush with box.

Jane shows how she was trimming ands mouthing off stainless  steel piano hinges ( note she for gloves when actually doing this ) 

Linda puts some weight behind drill to get hole cutter thru 21mm plywood for entry of birds. 

Linda and Jane onto quality control of first box while the next is put together. 

This is the first sales force team to rocklily built 8  Many thanks everyone. 

And the second team from Sales force built 9 box's and did some work in the wombatorium carting buckets of soil in to fill all the holes and put in grass seed, sadly within an hour Bubule had re dug the, she's normally not un daytime! 

 

were looking for more Climbers to get box's up, covid lockdown in Sydney has slowed it up all boxs and Cockatubes are finished awaiting installation.