It’s been a long time since you’ve read anything from me here on the blog. But with the start of the new season, there will be more to read here again.
It’s only mid-March, but you can already see how nature is awakening from its hibernation. The first early-flowering plants are poking their heads out of the ground and the birdlife is also making itself more and more noticeable every day.
This is also noticeable in the frequency of visits to my two nesting boxes.
The birds are already looking for possible nesting sites.
And that brings us to the topic.
For me, this year’s spring is themed “Creating Living Space”.
What do I mean by that?
Well, as some of you may have noticed, I have modified one of my two nest boxes somewhat by enlarging the “living space”. Last year I had already equipped the nesting box on the house wall with a front flap that has a larger entrance hole so that the starlings, who also showed interest in the nesting box, could fly into the box. However, the base area of 15×15 cm seemed to me and also to the starlings to be a bit too small to raise starlings there. The box was originally designed for tits.
That’s why I extended the box in the breeding area to a base area of 15×23 cm. And that seems to go down well with the starlings. In the meantime, the box is often visited by the starlings and there have already been the first disputes about the breeding place (see later blog entry).
But that is not all. This year, for the first time, I will provide nesting opportunities for common swifts. For this purpose, I have built 3 nesting boxes with 2 nesting chambers each, which I will now install in spring under the eaves of my house.
However, I have not yet installed any camera technology in the boxes for two reasons.
1) I would like to wait and see whether the boxes are accepted by the swifts at all before I buy camera technology for 6 nest chambers.
2) I have not yet found a suitable camera solution for the limited space in the boxes.
However, as soon as I see that the boxes have been accepted by the swifts, I will try to equip the boxes with the appropriate technology for the following season, should I find a suitable solution.
Until then, I will at least install a camera from the outside to keep an eye on the entrance holes.
Another building block in my concept of “creating living space” is the deadwood hedge (Benjes hedge) that I created in my garden this spring.
Over a length of about 4.5m, I piled up the tree and branch cuttings from this spring and old dead wood from previous years to form a hedge. Such hedges provide habitat for many birds, insects and other garden inhabitants such as hedgehogs, mice and lizard species.
Robins and wrens, both found here in my garden, like to use such hedges to build their nests. For hedgehogs and co., extra areas have been left at the bottom of the hedge where they can nest.
In the course of time, the hedge will hopefully develop a lively life.
Everyone who owns a garden should take a look at the deadwood hedge, as it offers not only a habitat for animals but also a simple and convenient way to dispose of the green waste that accumulates in every garden.
The fourth “housing project” will be a box for the garden dormouse, also at the suggestion and request of a website visitor. However, this is still in the planning stage and has not yet been built.
Since there have been several garden dormice in the garden for the last 2 years, I will also support this endangered dormouse species with a shelter.
Since the garden dormouse is in hibernation until April, I still have a little time for the nesting box. The plan is to also equip the box with a camera.
If the box is used for raising young, we could be up close and personal with the rearing of the little Zorro mice.
And the last project I have in mind is a bumblebee box. However, I don’t know if I will be able to realise the project in time this year, as the queen bumblebees are slowly waking up from hibernation and starting to look for burrows.
If I really do manage to get the bumblebee box up and running, you will of course hear about it here.
Then let’s hope that we can look forward to a successful and complication-free breeding season in 2023.