It’s getting close to that time of year when we should be considering a general tidy up, and, perhaps in some instances, the installation of new nest boxes in our gardens. With the breeding season far behind us now, many birds have completed their main task for the year. It is imperative to do this each year, as often nest boxes become home to various parasites which may infest young birds throughout the following breeding season.
Don’t worry, it is completely within the law to clean and remove any old nesting material, including dead eggs, from your nest boxes, as long as it is done between September 1st and January 31st. This ensures no damage is done to any birds or young currently resident in the box(es). However, be aware that some species of hole-nesting birds may have second or third broods, which can last into the autumn months, so while September 1st is a general rule of thumb, always use caution when handling your nest boxes.
Top tips for cleaning and positioning your nest boxes:
- Be completely sure there are no resident young in the nest boxes
- Wear gloves and a dust mask. Older nest boxes that have not been used for some time may harbour fungi on damp nesting material, which can cause or aggravate respiratory conditions. Nest boxes can also be home to fleas and parasites; please place any old material straight into a sealable plastic bag and dispose of it immediately
- Should you find any dead eggs, destroy them as soon as possible
- Use a quality enzyme solution specific for cleaning nests and feeders. These are available in concentrate or spray form, like our Ark-Klens range; and you can use boiling water to kill any remaining parasites, leaving the box to dry
- Finally, consider carefully the position of your nest boxes for next year’s breeding season. The number one rule is not to place the nest box in direct sunlight. Placing the next box in September will also allow your garden birds to accommodate themselves to the boxes; your chances of a successful garden brood will be greatly enhanced
GardenBird have one of the largest selections of nest boxes available, which can be viewed on our website at www.gardenbird.co.uk/accessories. We have stock of nest boxes with varying hole sizes suitable for most garden birds.