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Vandal in the Garden

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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 14:06   #1
sol1962
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Vandal in the Garden

We have recently moved House which has a large back garden. We have put bird boxes up on various trees in the garden for next spring.
The problem I have is that a great spotted woodpecker has decided that it’s a great idea to drill the holes larger in two of the boxes and damage two others.
Any ideas how I can stop this, other than making them out of concrete.
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 14:24   #2
alcedo.atthis
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http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/bird-box-plate

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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 22:38   #3
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Thanks for the info Malky. Thought I was going to be buying more bird boxes.
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Old Wednesday 6th December 2017, 02:59   #4
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These are a bit more expensive but have a smaller hole - ideal for blue tits.


http://shopping.rspb.org.uk/nestbox-plate-25mm.html
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Old Thursday 7th December 2017, 15:23   #5
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Thankyou Torchepot. Plates now ordered.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 16:37   #6
Joern Lehmhus
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In my experience the woodpecker soon will open a wooden box from the side, when the birds have young.
A plate does not fully stop woodpecker predation.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 17:25   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joern Lehmhus View Post
In my experience the woodpecker soon will open a wooden box from the side, when the birds have young.
A plate does not fully stop woodpecker predation.
Like most animals, there has to be a positive, value attached to the effort spent in getting a meal. Woodpeckers will widen a hole or just reach in if it's big enough but I've never heard of them goung right through a side which has no opening at all?

A good, 4 ply box, would probably make the effort too great for a pecker to bother even trying to drill right through it? It wouldn't cost the earth to cover the whole box in Aluminium if you had a very determined bird though.

We lost a Great Tit nest to a Great Spot last summer.


A
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 17:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joern Lehmhus View Post
In my experience the woodpecker soon will open a wooden box from the side, when the birds have young.
A plate does not fully stop woodpecker predation.
perhaps a fine wire mesh, modelling mesh on ebay or wickes for example, would stop it, cheap and easy to staple or screw through and if you look around rolls are even cheaper and i think even a 25mm mesh from screwfix should put anything off drilling through.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 19:10   #9
Joern Lehmhus
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Like most animals, there has to be a positive, value attached to the effort spent in getting a meal. Woodpeckers will widen a hole or just reach in if it's big enough but I've never heard of them goung right through a side which has no opening at all?

A good, 4 ply box, would probably make the effort too great for a pecker to bother even trying to drill right through it? It wouldn't cost the earth to cover the whole box in Aluminium if you had a very determined bird though.

We lost a Great Tit nest to a Great Spot last summer.


A

Some of them are very determined (see my photo), but I think that is just natural behaviour + individual learning.
Others donīt seem to be so interested in this type of prey.
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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 10:40   #10
andyadcock
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Originally Posted by Joern Lehmhus View Post
Some of them are very determined (see my photo), but I think that is just natural behaviour + individual learning.
Others donīt seem to be so interested in this type of prey.
This looks like an old box that probably had a crack in it which the Pecker was able to exploit?


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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 13:52   #11
Joern Lehmhus
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This looks like an old box that probably had a crack in it which the Pecker was able to exploit?


A
well, also the damage by the woodpecker isnīt fresh any more, but at least from previous year, so this is difficult to say here.

But at least in some cases i have seen they use the edge, where there is a thin gap separating two wooden parts.
So you could well be right there, and they start at the area of a box they perceive as weakest...
which wouldnīt need to be the same that we think the weakest.



another question : I have seen squirrels eat eggs and young birds, but would they also gnaw throgh a nest box?

there are several photos in the web which say this is squirrel damage:

http://c8.alamy.com/comp/BA4XC2/nest...age-BA4XC2.jpg

http://www.obsessedbynature.com/blog...y-squirrel.jpg

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-nes...-60475091.html

in some photos , like the second example, some tooth marks are visible, but I wonder if it is always so easy?
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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 14:34   #12
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Possibly a combination of both in some pics, 1st looks like Squirrel damage to me?


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