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A new sport hits the Co-op!

"Nest boxing" is here...

There are a number of nest boxes on the Round the Bend Conservation Co-op. I say ‘a number’ because none of us were exactly sure what that number was. They had been erected at different times over the years and though as it turns out they were by no means dormant, any monitoring of them had long since gone into hibernation. So back in May this year (’20) a few of us decided to institute a bit of good old scientific rigour, go visiting and see if anyone was at home.

Armed with a lot of enthusiasm, (and a sneaky camera on a pole that we could poke into each nest box door) we set off to do an inventory. As word spread, more nest boxes came out of the woodwork (s’cuse the pun) and were added to the spreadsheet so that, at time of writing, there are 24. These are spread along the ridges off the three tracks and some close to houses.

We were armed with a map and satellite coordinates but still the first expedition required a bit guesswork and keen eyes to spot them.

I don’t know that any of us had a clue what we would find so we were delighted when the first nest box displayed the beautifully crafted leaf nest and stripy fur (and mildly annoyed faces) of a pair of Sugar Gliders. So far we have logged: a Tuan, lots of Sugar Gliders, a bees nest, and much evidence of occupation if not actual inhabitants.

To minimize the intrusions for the occupants a schedule has been devised with monthly observations and a spreadsheet from which we can draw data on seasonal variation, frequency of use and any change or additions to occupants.

We will also be adding to the number of nest boxes as new ones become available.

We may have expected more Tuans but they have a large range, with multiple nests and besides their ideal habitation – at least around here, seems to be house roof cavities!

September 2020


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