Spring is in the air and the birds and the bees are….well, you know. And, by all reports, everyone’s doing fine with the making babies part but caring for the little rascals has become more of a challenge. Birds, in particular, are finding it hard to find suitable accommodations for bringing up baby because, what with us humans being so worried about keeping everything neat and tidy, there’s a signficant lack of decaying trees. The Canadian Wildlife Federation reports that about a quarter of all Canadian bird species nest in conveniently hole-y decaying trees.
This link – Canadian Wildlife Federation: Nesting box – is a great resource if you want to help out the critters and attract them to your garden. The plans for building a nesting box are quite straightforward and, importantly, there are loads of tips on making it animal-friendly and environmentally friendly as possible.
There’s also a chart for customizing your nesting box to make it just right for whichever critter you’d like to attract. Fourteen different animals, from chickadees to flying squirrels are listed with their preferred home dimensions, including the size of the entrance, the height of the hole above the floor, how high the ceiling should be from the floor and how high you need to place the box above the ground. (Who knew that flying squirrels prefer a nest closer to the ground than grey and red squirrels?)
If you’re interested in learning more about providing homes for solitary bees, try Help for the Hive-nots.