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Bird nest box, bat box, etc
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 12:27 pm    Post subject: Bird nest box, bat box, etc  Reply with quote    

Does anyone know of a good site that provides plans for bird nest boxes, bat boxes etc?

I can find plenty that give cutting instructions but they then fail to tell you exactly how each piece goes together, or worse shows you a picture that can't work as the pieces don't fit!

I can work out my own details but I'd like something to compare them to.

BahamaMama



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

RSPB? Bat conservancy? I have not checked but it seems like a good place to start.

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've checked the obvious places for bird boxes and can't find anything with clear construction instructions.

E.g. this from the RSPB doesn't make it clear if the sides sit ontop or alongside the bottom.


sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41568
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This looks pretty clear as a bat box design. Of course Devon bats might reject it as being from foreign parts.

Click to download file

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32454
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

rspb they have a lot of useful details such as box designs,pop hole sizes for particular species ,placement, spacings etc etc .

not sure about bats except if you do get them to move in it does restrict all manner of activities near to them.

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1442
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
E.g. this from the RSPB doesn't make it clear if the sides sit ontop or alongside the bottom.


Looking at the picture it would appear that the box can be made from one plank of wood just cut into lengths. This will work easier if the base is square (sides sitting on base. Front sitting infront of base and sides)

However RSPB plan dimensions show a rectangular base (sides sitting alongside base). They have knocked off 15mm each side for thickness of wood. Fine if your wood is 15mm thick. If it isn't 15mm, then your box will be squiffy.

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes i t can be made from a plank, Yes the dimensions are for 15 mm wood, if your wood is not 15mm you can alter the plans in your head to use 10mm or 20mm...
It's not thst complicated really

Rusticwood



Joined: 01 Dec 2009
Posts: 2117
Location: All over the South West
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

the pic shows the sides sitting on the base, front and back are alongside of the base

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 16 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I didn't say it was complicated but the diagram is misleading - the base goes inside the sides, front and back.

It is a bit daft though as I don't recall any common timber that is 15 mm thick, most wood is planed down to 18 mm and ply is either 18 mm or 12 mm.

What I asked was any plans that show clear instructions. I know plenty of people who couldn't make a bird box from those details.

Thanks for the bat instructions Sean, they look usable.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1602
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 16 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Here's a text heavy article with some images that may be helpful.

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht071.html

It helps to know which bird you want to build a house for as the size of entry hole attracts different birds

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 16 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you Jam Lady, that's better, something with UK measurements would be ideal.

I can find plenty of details on hole sizes, less common are correct details of how high up the hole goes as if it's too low chicks can fall out and predators get in easier. On that note in the UK perches on boxes shouldn't be used as the nesting birds don't need them but predators find them useful.

What would be ideal is to find out minimum volumes for the interior space, then you can be sure any changes still provide the correct space.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1293
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 16 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you use the rubber strip for the hinge as shown, try to put the rubber on top of the back board and down the front to meet the top as this will prevent water running down the back, also hitting the end grain of the top and potentially inside the box. I would make the top to stick over the sides and the sides and front to stick over the base; this will allow water, rain, to fall straight to the ground as it hits the sides, front and top, and so not seeping into the inside of the box. I would also make the back longer at the top and bottom so that you can strap the box to a tree rather than screw or nail into the tree. Jam Lady's link shows the construction very well.
As said before pop hole sizes are critical if you are aiming for particular birds.

Last edited by gregotyn on Thu Mar 03, 16 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

stumbling goat



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1962

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 16 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

To prevent predation of chicks it is advisable to protect the entrance hole with a metal washer or metal disc. The hole in the washer or disc should be large enough for the bird you want to use it to be able to get in and out.

If you just leave an unprotected wooden hole predators can peck at it and gain entry.

sg

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8313

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We used the basic measurements on the RSPB site and the Bat Conservancy sites and adapted them. Husband makes the back longer so it can be screwed, nailed or strapped to whatever it is attached to; some people attach it to their house. Ours also don't have a lifting lid but a divided front held in by the roof and an angled cut in the bottom half. They slide out and are secured with one screw. This is to stop squirrels sliding them out, because as I tell customers 'Squirrels don't yet carry screwdrivers under their tails'.

If the hole is too big for a birds taste they sometimes make it smaller with mud. We tend to make ours great tit size, because we make a reasonable number, but they still look a bit small. A blue tit would either not build in them or close the hole up a bit.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1293
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well now, here I learn that birds fill in holes to suit their size. I had never heard that before! Squirrels may not have screwdrivers, but they have very sharp teeth, one got into a house I lived in and wrecked the 'fridge seals in the door.

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