Developing a Nest Box Protocol

Developing a Nest Box Protocol -Fall Newsletter 2018

by Bill Read (President, Ontario Eastern Bluebird Association)

When asked to give advice on any proposed nest box project, I tell participants that building the nest boxes amounts to only 5% of the total project – the placement, predator protection, monitoring and record keeping make up the other 95 %. The OEBS has developed a protocol that can be followed when designing a nest box program for all cavity nesting species. It is hoped by following this protocol, groups running these workshops will have a greater chance of success attracting and being successful with the target species.

  1. Plan all phases of the project before starting.
  2. Decide on a target species and learn all about that species before starting.
  3. Determine nest box locations. If on private property make sure you have the landowners’ permission before setting up the nest boxes.
  4. Determine what kind of predator protection will be used.
  5. Decide who will monitor the boxes. 6. Decide who will keep the records.
  6. If boxes are to be located in areas with high House Sparrow populations decide how this risk will be mitigated.
  7. Decide how many nest boxes to build
  8. It is best to start small with a few nest boxes and do it properly. More can be added the following year.