With warm sunshine today and the conservatory door open, a queen wasp came in and started diligently checking the keyholes, looking (rather optimistically!) for a nest site. My Blue Tits were house-hunting too, in and out of their preferred nestbox today for what I hope will be a tenth breeding year in a row. As their life expectancy is only two or three years, I like to think these are the great grandchildren of the original pair. Whether that's right or not, it's good to see that the original box still has 'curb appeal'.Frog and Toad spawn also appeared this week. As happens every year, it was all clustered in the sunny corner of my pond. It's funny, isn't it, how picky creatures are as to where they nest. I guess they have to be - it is such a vulnerable stage in their lives and their youngsters. Each and every species has their own particular 'ideal home', and gardens aren't always flush with the sites they require. So, with the RSPB's rallying call of 'Step up for Nature' ringing in my ears, I decided it was about time I filled one of the gaps in the 'property portfolio' in my garden. My target this weekend? Wrens.Now what Wrens need are hollows, holes or dense cover, fairly close to the ground. And they need lots of them. A male will build a selection of domed nests, and his mate will pick her favourite. He will sometimes have a second female nearby for whom he is doing just the same - male Wrens can be busy boys indeed. If you'd like to provide some extra Wren nesting sites, you can go the easy route and head to the RSPB shopping pages for a ready-made nestbox. Feeling unexpectedly creative, I decided to make my own.Which is where the footballs come in. I had two floppy old balls (above) from my 5-aside 'glory' days lying around, which were duly 'transformed'. I cut out an entrance hole, bodged some drainage holes into the base, and camoflaged them (as best I could), on the outside only, with some all-surface paint. Eh voila(right). What do you think? (Be kind!). Here (left) is one of the finished 'residences' tied into the depths of an evergreen Viburnum. I'd say that if I was a Wren I'd be into it like a shot. Time will tell (and I'll let you know if I get any takers). Creating a nesting site is a great 'step for nature'. There's loads more you can do to step up and help wildlife through our Homes for Wildlife project. Oh, and do check out our brand new campaign, 'Stepping up for nature' - it's going to be a biggie, and every step counts.
Great use of a couple of old footballs! Hope you get some residents in them!
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
Accepting all non-essential cookies helps us to personalise your experience
These cookies are required for basic web functions
Allow us to collect anonymised performance data
Allow us to personalise your experience