Bird Nest Box

In April we hung a parrot nest box in our gum tree. It sat there attracting no attention for 4 months. Then came August and spring was in the air. It was clearly time for young love-birds to find themselves a little place to call their own.

The first to inspect the nest box were a pair of lorikeets. I suspect they were attracted by the birdbath. They went from the water up to the oak tree then one flew to the perch in front of the bird nest box. He looked in and out but eventually flew away. I don’t know why, the box was built with birds of their ilk in mind. They have returned to the birdbath, but never to the nest box (that I’ve seen).

Rainbow Lorikeets at the Birdbath

Then, in late August, the kookaburras discovered the nest box. They tried for a while (intensely for a few days) to enlarge the hole in this box. The hole is 75mm in diameter – perfect for lorikeets. Kookaburras need a hole 100mm in diameter. Obviously nature has prepared kookaburras to expect just such obstacles and they’ve learned to rip the hole bigger. But this box is made of outdoor plywood and so they didn’t have much of a chance.

a pair of kookaburras in a gum tree working hard to enlarge the entrance of a parrot nest box

Actually it was kind of stressful to watch the little guy fly in and work like crazy to rip apart the edge of the hole. His lady friend stood by and offered moral support and advice. I could have the genders wrong – but I doubt it. In fact, they could have even taken turns trying to renovate their dream home because they were at it long enough for the whole clan to have a go. But in the end, the plywood proved too sturdy and all they did was rough up the edges and rip off a bunch of paint.

It’s October now and I don’t think anyone has set up home in our nest box.  The kookaburras haven’t moved away – they still sit in the trees staring longingly at the home that almost was; the lorikeets zoom by on their way hither and yon; but I haven’t seen anyone creeping inside the box.

Frank and I did briefly discuss enlarging the hole ourselves but this box was put up there for parrots and for parrots it shall remain! Maybe next spring they’ll see the benefits of the box that this year the kookaburras so appreciated.

About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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3 Responses to Bird Nest Box

  1. It sounds as though you need to get busy building a box for the kookaburras 🙂 The lorikeets are always buzzing around the treetops here where the umbrella trees are in bloom. They never come down to our birdbath – it would be so nice to have them nesting close to us – we might have to think about putting up a nesting box.

    • We now have 3 nesting boxes of different varieties (parrots, possums and sugar gliders). As far as I know we have nothing living in any of them. This habitat building is tough work.

      But everyone loves our bird bath, birds actually bathe (I love watching them flop around), bees drink and one clever raven brings bread stolen from the neighbourhood and leaves it to soak in the water before coming back to eat it soggy. Clever raven.

  2. Pingback: Possums have moved in | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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