Thursday, 9 February 2012

The nestboxes are up!

Good news! The nestboxes made by the Airedale Otters at the January meeting are up and ready for homeowners wanting to start a family!

Two of the Airedale Otter nestboxes in Deep Cliff Wood

Airedale Otters leaders Cam, Andy, and Alison, with help from Shaun of Bradford Ornithological Group, braved the winter weather and got the nestboxes up in time for the breeding season (and National Nestbox Week 14th-21st February).

Unfortunately, our event on Sunday 5th February was cancelled, because of the likelihood of bad weather - but the nestboxes needed to go up as soon as possible. Resident birds, such Blue Tits and Great Tits, like to find nest sites early – before the summer visitors like Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts arrive from Africa. So it was important to boxes up in February. The good news is Blue Tits were inspecting a couple of the first nestboxes to go up, even before we’d finished putting up the others!

Getting the nestboxes ready for intallation

The nestboxes are in Deep Cliff Wood, Harden – great habitat for local birds, and (we hope) perfect for Pied Flycatchers. There are 14 boxes in total, so there should be plenty of spare boxes when the Pied Flycatchers arrive in spring. We’ll be keeping a close eye on them throughout the breeding season, and keep you informed of any developments. Of course, we will arrange for the children to visit the woods as soon as we can to see the boxes in place – hopefully at one of our next meetings in March or April.

The nestboxes are numbered registered the name of its builder, so each Airedale Otter will know if their box is used and if any chicks are raised! Once the first breeding season is over, we will come back to the woods as a group to open up the boxes and see what types of nests are inside.

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