Mike Azevedo of California and I (from Connecticut) are collaborating to assemble more information on cavity nester preference. There is a lot of information available in books and on the Internet about biology and nestbox specifications for various cavity nesters, but information on WHERE to put the box tends to be vague (although I have compiled some information on breeding habitat.)
We are trying to gather information from different parts of the country, and plan to summarize it on this website. If we get enough information, we will prepare species-specific “All About” pages like the one on Black-capped Chickadees to help people figure out how best to attract birds to nest in their boxes.
The spirit of this is to gather information in an anecdotal fashion, so you can respond for birds that have nested in the past, for birds of neighboring trails where you know all the information, or whatever you have information on. There is no intent to duplicate The Birdhouse Network database, which we also hope to mine information from.
We are not requesting information on bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Purple Martins or House Wrens as a lot of data on those species is readily available. Our focus is on small cavity nesters that are less common in nestboxes.
2. if you would like to be included in acknowledgements.
5. NESTBOX INFO:
C. SIZE OF ENTRANCE HOLE
D. SHAPE OF ENTRANCE
(e.g., square, mouse hole:
D. BOX OPENING (e.g., opens from top)
E. ENTRANCE HOLE ORIENTATION
5. LOCATION INFO
A. CREEK, RIVER, LAKE OR OTHER WATER BODY NEARBY?
B. IF YOU HAD MORE THAN ONE ACTIVE NESTING BY THE SPECIES AT A TIME, HOW FAR APART WERE THE NESTBOXES?
C. SUN OR SHADE
HEIGHT OF ENTRANCE HOLE OFF TH EGROUND
D. DIRECTION ENTRANCE FACED
E. SURROUNDING HABITAT
1 – residential urban/suburban
2 – residential/rural
3 – agricultural field
4 – meadow/grassland
5 – park/school/field
6 – forest/woodland
7- forest edge
8 – golf course
9 – cemetery
A – swamp/wetland
B – desert scrub
C – industrial/commercial
D – fresh water
E – salt water
F – other – specify in comments
- Forest (large trees with crowns touching, forming an overhead canopy with branches
- Woodland (small trees and shrubs, frequently dense, without overhead canopy)
- Parkland (large trees widely spaced)
- Open (smaller trees and shrubs, or none)
- Commercial (little or no green space)
F. RURAL, SUBURBAN/URBAN
ARE THERE HOUSES WITHIN 100 YARDS OF THE NESTBOX
GENERAL ADIVCE FOR SOMEONE HOPING TO ATTRACT THIS SPECIES?
WHAT PROBLEMS HAVE CAUSED NESTING FAILURE FOR THIS EPCIES?
Thank you so much for your response! Hopefully, the information will help people better place their nestboxes in the future to attract this species.
– Mark Twain