I have made and installed a number of nestboxes in my large garden, mainly for tits. Most of them have been attacked by (I assume) great spotted woodpeckers, initially by enlarging the entrance hole, which I have reinforced with metal. Inspecting the boxes this winter, I found many to have had the bases pecked out. The boxes are now a few years old. Ideally, I should replace them, but it's a lot of work. The question is, should I remove them, or patch them up knowing them to be "unsafe"? I feel for the trauma of the tits loosing their broods although I'm usually happy for nature to take its course.Any thoughts or advice?
Hi Charlien, Sorry to hear the damage to your lovely homemade nestboxes. We had a similar problem with G.S. Woodpeckers in our garden a few years ago and following a study done by Lancaster University I used their recommendation to reinforce the boxes with a strip of quarter inch wire mesh which went in one strip down one side of the box, underneath the bottom and back up the other side (stapled in place). We also had a metal hole plate on the front of the box. This seemed to do the trick and we didn't have any more trouble. If it is possible to add a new base to your boxes and then reinforce that with the wire mesh method hopefully this will suffice.
Here's a photo of one of our reinforced wooden next boxes …..
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