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).
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.
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.