Stage2: The finished product
….which might be the Ikea model of instructions for assembly.
Down at Chadkirk we do things differently, as the Senior Ranger is on hand to give instructions on construction and also to share his knowledge about the boxes’ potential inhabitants.
Today’s first bird box is completed by a proud craftsman:
This visitor is keen to add a home for bats and birds, making two boxes during the afternoon, ably assisted by the Senior Warden.
And the first of today’s bat boxes made by a father and daughter team out in the sunshine by the Chapel:
The bird boxes have small round entrance holes and the most likely occupants will be blue tits. During the winter family groups, perhaps with as many as 20 birds, gather together in the boxes to keep warm. This will help more of them survive the cold. In the spring most of these survivors will find a new place to nest. But if the owners of the new bird boxes are lucky, a pair will breed and bring up their brood in the box.
In comparison, bat boxes are of slightly different design. The bats land on the underside and then walk into the box through a gap. Bats make use of the box at different times of the year. Although any bats looking for a roost in the autumn may use the box now, it is more likely that they will wait until the spring. During the winter bats need more shelter and would look for some where offering more protection from the lowest temperatures – perhaps in a barn or a cave.
For visitors who took away a brand new bat box, it might be the spring time before bats move in. Then female bats will be looking for a roost to give birth to their young, usually one offspring to each female. As bats are protected species, once there is evidence that a bat is using the box, it cannot be opened and the bats cannot be disturbed. This may help offset all the roosts that have been lost as people reduce habitats and roosts.
We look forward to hearing about any future inhabitants of the new boxes. Even better, perhaps, photos to share on the blog.