Why build a nest box?
Many native Australian birds like parrots, kookaburras, black cockatoos, owls and pardalotes live and breed in natural tree hollows. It is estimated that there are around 400 species of fauna that use tree hollows in Australia; however it takes over 100 years for a tree to form in the first place. Agricultural clearing, logging and higher fire frequencies can lead to the extinction of their homes. Nest boxes may be a viable alternative to these hollows and are also a great way to observe birds in your garden.
The first thing to consider is what kind and size of bird you wish to encourage to breed in your garden. In most Australian suburban areas species include some Rosellas, Parrots, Tree Swallows, Pardalotes, Kookaburras and Boobook Owls. Each species varies in size, shape and breeding requirements, and has different, although frequently overlapping, needs which a nest box can supply. These include different depths, lengths or shapes of hollow, size and placement of entrance, height above ground, and protection from predators.
Also ensure the box is waterproof and make sure to drill drainage holes at the bottom of the box.
If you use screws at the top of his nest box you can open it to inspect chicks or to clean the box out when need be. By tying the nest box to the tree with picture hooks and wire, you can easily move the box at any time.
This nest box design is for an Eastern Rosella, a common bird in Adelaide.