Last Friday night may have been cold and miserable, but it didn’t stop 60 people descending on the warm, cozy Violet Town Community Centre Supper Room. The evening’s theme was Nest-boxes for Wildlife and the menu included a variety of experts, lots of community input and supper.
Nest-boxes are essentially artificial tree-hollows and, once emplaced in suitable trees/areas where natural tree-hollows are scarce (most local forests and woodlands), they provide valuable refuge and nesting sites for many species of native wildlife. In fact, Australia has the greatest percentage of hollow nesting animals (mammals and birds), of any continent. The evening’s speakers explained where best to place nest-boxes, how many and the importance of monitoring and maintenance. We learned how to tell the difference between a Squirrel Glider and a Sugar Glider and how a Phascogale’s nest differs from a Glider’s nest.
The main speaker for the evening was Ray Thomas (Regent Honeyeater Project), who explained the fascinating results of his 400+ strong nest-box project. We were also treated to stories and highlights from other nest-box projects: Janice Mentiplay-Smith and Orlando Talamo (Whroo Goldfields & Broken Boosey Conservation Management Networks), Helen Repacholi, Alan Neander & Deb Hill (Warrenbayne-Boho nest-box project), John Broadhurst (Violet Town Men’s Shed) and David Wakefield (Strath Creek Focus on Fauna Project).
With so much local experience in the room, the evening ended with a group discussion to summarize the Do’s, Don’ts and Tips of nest-box know-how. The information gathered will be summarized and made available to all those interested in this topic.
The night was also the unofficial launch of the SR CMN’s new Nest-boxes for Wildlife brochure, available on request, or downloaded here (soon).
Nest-boxes need to be manufactured somewhere and what better way to support the community than to purchase nest-boxes from local groups. Enter- the Men’s Shed in Violet Town. This dynamic group of fellows have entered the niche-market of nest-box construction, for the benefit of local wildlife.
Though its not the same as having a beautiful, big old tree to live in, the local Sugar Gliders, Squirrel Gliders and Phascogales certainly appreciate a cozy, waterproof nest-box, expertly built by John and the Master Builders at the Men’s Shed.