New Tree Creeper Nest Box
It is always satisfying to provide a nesting place for a bird, and in the case of Blue and Great Tits this is a fairly simple task. For the Tree Creeper this is at present an almost impossible task. For many years the triangular box has been the one that has been widely available to tempt this much loved bird, but with very limited success.
At a British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) conference back in December 2013 there was a gathering of nest recorders, and during this session a talk was given on a new design of box for this bird. The speaker had over the years noted various places where this bird has built a natural nest, mainly in tight crevices, sometimes in man-made artefacts such as a stack of fence panels! This prompted him to produce a design similar to a flat bat box, but which has a small entrance at the bottom of one side. This type of box he found was more attractive and had had birds actually nesting in it.
The box is roughly 25cm square and has a depth of around 50mm, and is more representative of a crevice behind a piece of bark that has flaked away from the tree, that tree creeper frequently use. The box shown to us had a hinged lid at the front, and inside had a narrow piece that was attached across the bottom, to hold the nest when the door was opened. The four boxes that I have installed, two of which are now in the new additional woodland at the Knapp & Papermill Wildlife Reserve, have a sliding door instead, and were quite easy to knock up (01). It will most likely take a few years to have any take up, but others who have a connection with woodland may like to have an attempt with this new design of box.
A similar type of box was constructed by Ladhams (1972) (02).
Ladhams, D.E. 1927 Artificial nest for Tree Creepers. British Birds 65:223.
01.Artificial nest box for Tree Creepers with side panel removed. Garth Lowe.
02. Ladhams 1972 artificial nest box for tree creepers.