Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Cockatoo Box

Today I celebrated the beginning of August by installing a giant nest box, designed for Black Cockatoos, in a tall Eucalypt at home. I built the box a few days ago and it’s been sitting on the driveway by our garage. I laughed when I looked out my bedroom window one morning to see a pair of Australian Wood Ducks inspecting it for a nest site! Some animals don’t waste any time in taking up accommodation!

The installation process took a few hours: I had to get my climbing ropes high into the treetops, then set up a huge pulley system to gradually haul the box into place, inches at a time, to its final place at about 15 m. The box weighs about 20 kg so I had to make sure it was fixed properly!

This box is the second of it’s kind that I’ve made from totally recycled form ply, old nails and screws. It measures 1.2 m deep and the base is about 300 mm square. The important thing is to install a ‘ladder’ on the inside so any birds wishing to enter can climb inside and out again without any trouble. I made mine from an old gate to a chicken coop that had quite thick mesh, cut into three pieces and fixed using bent over nails. I was careful to not leave any pieces of wire sticking out because birds could easily cut themselves on this. Some people prefer to use wood but I know that cockatoos would chew this to pieces!

It will be very lucky if any cockatoos use it as Carnaby’s rarely nest this close to Perth, and Red-tails usually have the same nest site for years, but at least the box is in place if they do need it. Let’s keep an eye on it and see what wildlife does move in :-)