Breeding box success 2012

 Thought I would do a little update on where we are with the breeding box project here at St Hallett Winery for 2012!
 After two seasons of success with the original boxes I built in 2010 I thought it would be good to use all the timber we purchased with the help of the local NRM board (thanks again Liz!) and build more of the same! Hardest part about this great idea... was trying to find the time to build them! Put it this way.... I wasn't getting anywhere fast... and breeding season was approaching! Then a stroke of luck! Megan one of my fellow 'Hallett valley catchment care group' members came up with a great idea! Up in Nuriootpa there is a men's shed! and we thought this type of project would be perfect for them! Gives them a feel good project to work on and means the boxes would be able to be placed in the trees before the breeding season commenced! A month or so later... 20 new boxes got delivered, looking good and just waiting to be hung!
A few months later and the season has been a bumper one for our local Rosella population with at least 24 babies either fledged or about to fledge! This season I have placed three boxes on the tank-farm handrails next to one of the Eucalyptus plantations. Two of the three are being used by Adelaide Rosella's and the other has been occupied by feral Starlings, which after throwing their five clutches of eggs over the edge have finally given up and moved on! I do weekly checks during the breeding season to remove any of the feral Starling nests which are the main competitor to the Rosella's and other natives for the use of the boxes! So far I have now removed somewhere between 50-70 Starling eggs! (Always try to get the eggs before they hatch as I prefer not to have to deal with chicks!)
To put a face to this story below are some images of the fast growing baby Rosella's from the tank-farm boxes and a few other shots from around the grounds!
Adelaide Rosella chick
and a younger version from another nest!

Six little cuties! from a nest hanging from the tank-farm handrails!

Another tank-farm handrail nest with four chicks!

and the same nest again

This box also has six chicks in it about to fledge!
Two of the three nesting boxes we have hanging from the tank-farm handrails! Two of the boxes are being used by Rosella's the other has had a pair of Starlings keep trying to use it but I keep throwing their eggs away! I think after five goes they have now given up!

This box has a pair of Rosella's using it and we can now hear chicks calling from inside.. not sure how many as I haven't been up to it since the Rosella's took up residence! So I haven't included these ones in the count of 24! There are also a few boxes due to circumstances I can't get up to and check so the count of babies is most likely considerably higher!!

Another of the feral's the birds have to deal with.... annoyingly feral bees often take over residence of the boxes!

Thought I would throw this image of a Bat box in as well! On one of my earlier posts you will see a population of Gould's Wattled Bats in one of our boxes... this is the box and I'm happy to say they still call this box their home!


  1. At a recent nestbox workshop, we were told to attach a sheet of PVC plastic to the inside of the box lid which seems to prevent bees attaching their waxy construction.Bees build from top to bottom apparently and the lid is too slippery so they move on -or so the person from our local DSE believes , so it might be worth a go .

  2. Thanks BCFNC! It's a good idea! will give it a go!