Last year two men decided to build a bird box – and not just any old bird box, a complete terrace, built to exact specifications. The bird box was then fixed high on a wall, and the wait began.
It was a long wait, with no sign of honeymooners. The only witness who could offer any hope was the human resident of the room on the other side of the wall, who said early morning bird chat had been a summer constant by his window.
But other than that, nothing. Not even a feather. And no confirmed sightings of comings and goings.
This year, almost exactly a year later, the decision was taken to move the bird box due to apparent lack of occupation. Location, location, location – that had to be the problem. Perhaps it was too high. Possibly too hot. Possibly not good enough. So the box was taken down, and the lid taken off to check.
And there they were! Beautiful, boutique appartments, fluffed up and fancy. All but one had been occupied, and box number four still had a clutch of tiny, abandoned eggs in the corner.
So the spaces were cleaned out, the lid was screwed back down, and back the box went. A little lower on the wall, and a little closer to north … and the wait has begun again.
A few top tips for any aspirational bird box builders out there, especially if aiming at the discerning end of the blue tit market: keep the boxes facing north or east, and don’t interfere with them after February. Also, if you have any labrador fluff, or old sheepskin, lying around, they’ll thank you for it, if you leave it outside for them to find.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023