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.
  • Shape.
  • Insulation.
  • 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.
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • 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. 

Cutting List:

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.

Cutting List:

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

Box top

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.

Box bottom

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.

Baffle

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.

Finish

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.

Stairs

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

Catalogue here




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.

Visit: http://jbhdc.com.au/

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)

Jbhav.com.au (Avalon)

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!

Final Thought

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


Green Life Garden Centre at Johnson Brothers Mona Vale has a great stock of seedlings, native and other plants and all you need to get gardening in brilliant Autumn weather

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. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

www.johnsonbros.com.au Online store: jbhmv.com.au

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______________________

John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

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

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 were awarded as the best Trade Store in the country: February 2020

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

Anzac Day In Pittwater 2020: Candles, Crosses and Online Commemorative Services: Johnson Brothers Family Donates 20 Thousand Candles to Community Light Up The Dawn Initiativ

Front Page Issue 447: ANZAC DAY 2020

Front Page Issue 478: Johnson Brothers Avalon Store Renovations & Mona Vale Store: Everything You Need This Summer In Stock

Front Page Issue 492:  JBH Celebrates Upgrade Of Avalon Beach Store


John, Bob and Robert Johnson, 2013 - photo by A J Guesdon.
December 2020 
Important 
All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and neither Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 or Pittwater Online News does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice. Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). 

You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 and Pittwater Online News excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. 

Pittwater Online News and Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 also advises there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work. Major projects published in this publication always list these and/orlinks to where you may research what your own project requires to meet regulations.