June 20 - 26, 2021: Issue 499
how to build a nesting box for our local possums and birds
How to build a possum nest box; the basics
Australia is currently experiencing a housing shortage, not just for people, but for our wildlife as well. Many of our birds and other animals rely on tree hollows to live and breed in, but trees with hollows are a dwindling resource. Hollows only form in very old trees —at least 100 years old — so with widespread clearing for farming, timber production or development, many old, hollow-bearing trees are simply not there any more. How can we help? By planting more trees for the future and stopping clearance of old trees, but in the meantime we can erect nest boxes to replace tree hollows.
Those below can and may also be used by birds. To ensure they aren't accessed by introduced species such as myna birds, take an extra few minutes to install the baffle. For dimenions for different birds and different boxes to suit them, please refer to BirdLife Australia's Nest Boxes – Technical Information
The following factors should be considered when constructing a nest box:
- Size and depth.
- Entrance hole dimensions.
When deciding on the best location for your nest box, consider:
- Orientation - nest boxes should be protected with the entrance facing away from prevailing weather.
- Protection - many mammals prefer nest boxes to be placed among dense foliage for protection against predators.
- Shading - nest boxes should be shaded from the midday sun.
What you need
It is important to use a building material that is hardy and provides some insulation and is reasonably cheap to make.
- Timber: The best timber to make a possum nest box is hardwood or marine ply - don't use chipboard as it disintegrates rapidly outdoors or treated pine, which is toxic if gnawed by wildlife. Try to use 12mm plywood or untreated pine as these will provide a longer lasting home. These are also reasonably hardy, and not too expensive (try asking for cover sheets or seconds). The wood needs to be at least 10mm to provide some insulation.
- Fastenings: Use screws and glue to hold the construction together. They will last longer and hold greater weight than nails.
- Something to seal the top edge of the house: Sheet metal, piece of aluminium, a rubber flap or piece of old inner tube will work.
- Wire or chain and a piece of old hose pipe to cover it
- Heavy gauge flat head nails
- Flexible metal strip
- Optional extras
- Small, sturdy branch x 2
- Sealant and/or UV resistant paint: Choose a colour like dark brown or green that blends in with the surrounding bush.
- Nesting materials: A few handfuls of dead leaves would provide comfort and insulation.
How to build your possum nest box
The Brushtail Possum Box
To stop rain getting in, eaves should overhang by 110mm to 120mm and the lid/roof slope backwards. The entry hole (which doesn't have to be round) should be located directly under the eaves and between 90mm and 100mm - anything larger may put the possum at risk of predation.
Sides - 2 x 400mmback/400mm front x 150mm
Back - 1 x 400mm x 210mm
Front - 1 x 370mm x 210mm
Base - 1 x 250mm x 210mm
Roof - 1 x 320mm x 280mm
Ringtail Possum Box
Is basically the same design as the brushtail box. It is slightly narrower and the entrance hole is 70mm to 80mm wide.
Sugar Glider - Pygmy Possum Box ands smaller birds
Although the sugar glider is one of the smaller possums, its nest box is quite large. However the entry hole (which would probably be a little higher up than this diagram illustrates) is only 40 mm wide.
Sides - 2 x 200mm back/180mm front x 150mm
Back - 1 x 200mm x 120mm
Front - 1 x 180mm x 120mm
Base - 1 x 120mm x 120mm
Roof - 1 x 190mm x 190mm
While it is not essential, it is best if you can arrange the top so it can be opened for inspection, but latched closed for protection. Fasten the back of the lid with an old inner tube, which provides 'a hinge' and a weatherproof seal.
To stop rain getting in, eaves should overhang by 110mm to 120mm. The entry hole (which doesn't have to be round) should be located directly under the eaves and be between 110mm to 120mm wide.
The bottom of the box should fit inside the four sides and be screwed in from the side. This gives greater strength than if flush with the walls and screwed in from the bottom. Drill at least four x 5-7mm holes near the corners for drainage.
The baffle is a screen that hides the entrance hole from view, which stops direct sunlight entering the box and reduces the effect of wind and rain. The baffle also stops Mynas and Starlings from occupying the box, as they will only choose hollows where they can fly directly into the hole.
The baffle is simply a piece of wood, the same width as the front of the possum nest box, with 'arms' to fix it to the box or lid. The baffle can be made of any thickness, as its main purpose is to provide screening and it should be large enough to cover at least 90% of the entrance hole. There are various ways baffles can be attached. As possums may decide to hang on to these and have to brush past them every time they enter and exit, make sure they are securely fastened.
The distance of the baffle from the front of the box (a to b in the diagram above) should be at least equal to the diameter of the entry hole. As the possum needs to climb under the baffle, the clearance has to be big enough to let him through.
The wood does not have to be smooth as possums are used to roughing it. However, a good coat of sealant on the exterior will help the box last years longer. Be sure to seal the edges, as that is where the water gets in and damages the box.
A small branch fastened firmly inside and outside under the entrance hole will give the possum something to grab onto while entering and exiting his home as well as help juveniles climb in and out.
Placement and installation
Ideally, the box should be at least 4 meters from the ground, to provide protection from pests and a bit of privacy. The box should face away from prevailing winds and should not face towards the afternoon sun. If it is not possible to avoid both the winds and direct sunshine, having a baffle attached will help.
Hang your nest box using sturdy wire or chain secured to the back of the box. Sheath the wire in old hose pipe to prevent damage to the tree.
Attach the bottom using a flexible metal strip approximately 30 mm from the bottom of the box, and nailed to the tree with a couple of heavy gauge flat head nails. Don't drive these nails in all the way, allow for the growth of the tree and the possibility of relocating the possum box in the future.
Don't place the possum box until the sealant smell has disappeared.
Information courtesy Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc., BirdLife Australia and Nest Box Tales.
Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Tax Time Tool Blitz
At Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale: a warm jacket and waterproof boots can make the difference through winter
At Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale - Dremel Power Tools are used by Hobbyist's and Craft's People for projects ranging from model construction, polishing, sanding, grinding and wood carving or engraving.
At Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale - get your house ready for winter.
JBH Design Centre
JBH Design Centre is a tool for builders and DIY'ers to assist in the fit out of houses. It has displays of kitchens, Bathrooms, Doors and Storage as well as knowledgeable staff to assist in making house fit out painless.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/design.centre.jbh/
We want to thank all of you for supporting and trusting us through this 2020, without you we could not be receiving these two important awards.
Thank you for being our customer and thanks to all our great staff for making this possible especially though this full of surprises year.
Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Update: Shop Online options
Intending to keep our customers and staff safe, we present some additional ways for both our retail and trade customers to do business with us.
Trade and Retail Pick Up
Express Pick up Mona Vale
- Call Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale, and we will pick & pack your order and have it ready for you to pick up in 2 hours. (Stocked Lines Only)
- Drive into our undercover Trade Drive-Thru area at 73 Bassett St Mona Vale, and your order will be ready for pick-up.
- Our team members will help you with your load and finalise payment/paperwork
Express Pick up Avalon
- Call Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Avalon, and we will pick & pack your order and have it ready for you to pick up in 2 hours. (Stocked Lines Only)
- Drive into our back lane off Bellevue Avenue, and your order will be ready for pick-up.
- Our team members will help you with your load and finalise payment/paperwork
Online Retail Stores Go Live
We’ve launched two eCommerce sites offering 2hr pick up in-store and flat rate delivery options on the northern beaches*.
Jbhmv.com.au (Mona Vale)
With the ability to leave the product on your doorstep, this provides an option of an entirely contactless transaction.
*Flat rate delivery is not available to trade sales, building supplies and trade quantities
** The stock availability is updated nightly, which may mean the stock is unavailable when the order is placed
Trade Delivery to Site
Maybe not new, but certainly worth a mention again!
We can get almost anything delivered quickly onto site!
As always ring the trade desk direct on 9999 0333 and let them know what you need!
Like everyone, we have found ourselves in a new and uncertain environment, but we’re setting up (and digging in) for the long haul!
We want to acknowledge that the decision to retain over 120 staff and meet any future challenges head-on, could not have happened without the continued support you provide us as customers.
Thank you and stay safe,
The Johnson Family
Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale - everything you need under one roof.
Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Store
73 Bassett Street
Mona Vale - Online Store: Jbhmv.Com.Au
Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10.
Previous DIY Pages:
Decking Timbers Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II Privacy Screening Hardwoods Autumn Paths and Lawns Insulation Batts Plasterboard Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System Decking Oils How To Make Garden Compost How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed Growing Your Own Winter Vegies Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I Install Your Own Skylight Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II Autumn Garden Tasks Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home Fixing Your Fence Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015 DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015 Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall DIY One Shelf Sideboard Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months Children’s Step Stool with Storage Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation DIY Garden Shed: Weather- boards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Area - Platform DIY Pre-Summer Checklist For A Safe Home Summer Spruce Up: Interior Paint Tips and Three easy steps to rejuvenate your timber deck The Perfect BBQ Garden Setting DIY Water Wise Garden DIY Side Gates DIY Storm Preparation And Home Protection One To Two Day DIY Weekend Spruce Ups Vegepods For Autumn Planting + Easy To Make Lego Table Or Student Desk That Can Be Dismantled + Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Online Store Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Great New Mona Vale Store: Still In Bassett Street - number 73 Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 New Mona Vale Store: The Greenlife Garden Centre Go Outside And Play: Creating Garden Spaces To Connect Children With Nature DIY Plasterboard Repair DIY Dolls House Or Garage Or Boatshed DIY Child's Waggon - or use as a large planter mover DIY Bathroom Refresh: Zing For Spring Tips for Growing a Native Garden FireCrunch, Australian Developed Fire-proof, Sustainable, Durable and Reliable Building Board Now Available at Johnson Bros. at Mona Vale and Narrabeen School Holidays DIY Ideas for Children: Little Vegetables Garden, Swing, Windchimes Bushfire Season Preparation 2017: Home and Outdoor Areas Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Trade Centre at Mona Vale + Issue No 1 of Mitre 10’s inSITE Magazine for Tradies and Handymen Preparing Al Fresco Areas for Christmas Get-Togethers and Summer Visitors Summer De-bug; 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Australia's Prime Minister Visits Mackellar - Informal Afternoon Tea with Hon. Malcolm Turnbull October 2016
JBH Win Awards August 2018 Trifecta - 2018 Free Trade Day supporters, Mitre 10 Heritage Advert features JBH Mona Vale Store, Hardware Australia’s 2018 NSW Hardware Store of the Year over 2500sqm.
Front Page Issue 294: 2018 Winners Of National Hardware Store Of The Year - Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale !!!
National Garden Week's 2019 Focus Is On Children(Oct 13-19): School Holiday Garden Ideas (to get started on) & Congratulations Award Winning Johnson Brothers Mitre10 At Mona Vale - 2019 NSW Store Of the Year, 2019 NSW Trade Centre Of the Year and 2019 Village Garden Centre of the Year
Family Hardware Store Wins Best In Australia: Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona Vale Crowned ‘National Trade Store Of The Year’ - Celebrating 65th Year in 2020
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Front Page Issue 447: ANZAC DAY 2020
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