Knox Your City
Skip Links
Visit our LinkedIn pageContact Knox City Council

Nest Boxes

Nesting Box

Many native animals and birds are dependent on natural hollows that develop in trees for shelter and breeding. Suitable nesting hollows are declining throughout Victoria. It can take over 120 years for suitable hollows to develop in an Eucalypt tree.

Nest boxes provide an important supplement to naturally occurring hollows in urban areas. Some local species that rely on hollows (or nest boxes) are Sugar Gliders, Possums, Rosellas, Owlet Nightjars, Kookaburras and bats - to name but a few.

Different species have different nesting requirements regarding the size, shape and orientation of their nest boxes. For information on what different bird species need in a nest box and for details on how to make and maintain nest boxes, visit the Birds in Backyards website. Another excellent resource is the WIRES website.

All nest boxes should be built from strong, weatherproof timber, have drainage holes in the bottom and have lids that slope forwards and overhang the sides to allow water to run off. Nesting and insulation material such as wood shavings and dry grass can be placed in the bottom of the boxes.

Create your own tree hollows

Instead of removing a dead tree from your garden, consider getting an arborist to cut the tree to a safe height, trim branches and create appropriate hollows on the protected side of the tree stump for wildlife that is likely to be in your area. Add the trimmed branches/logs to your garden to create habitat for lizards, frogs and insects. Nesting boxes can be placed along the trunk of a dead tree to entice birds and small mammals.

What to look out for

Pest species such as Starlings, Mynas and honey bees can take up residence in natural hollows and nest boxes, further reducing habitat for native species.

Inspect nest boxes regularly to prevent them being used by pest species. If a pest species does take up residence in a nest box, remove the nesting materials and close the box for a period. If the problem persists, relocate the box or remove completely.

Where do I put a nest box?

The location of nest boxes varies according to the species it is designed for. All nest boxes should be placed out of reach of human hands and potential predators, such as cats. The site may be in a tree or dense shrub or around a dam or over water (depending on the species you're trying to attract). Choose an accessible spot away from bright lights. The box should be at least three metres from the ground and face east so it is shaded through the hottest part of the day.

Do not interfere with nest boxes once they have residents. Birds in particular are unlikely to return to nests that have been disturbed.

Myna Proof Box
duck hollow
Galah in tree hollow
Lorikeets in trees
Possum in tree hollow
Powered by