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Caring for other Garden Wildlife There's more to garden wildlife than Birds

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Old 27th August 2010, 05:24 PM   #1
Nature__Lover
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Default Bats & swallows - questions

I have lots of pipistrelles swooping over my front and back garden at around 9.00pm onwards. I'd love to give them a helping hand with roosting.
I know you can buy bat boxes, but I have an empty coconut shell halve, and was wondering if they'd roost in that if I placed it high on my house wall?

I think I recall hearing years ago, of a woman who had a pipistrelle roosting in a coconut shell halve on her wall.

Maybe a swallow/house martin/swift would even roost in one?

not sure though...

Also, would like to ask- would it be a terrible idea to put a hole-fronted bird nesting box up in my back garden next spring, considering I have two cats, and one hunts sometimes?
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Old 28th August 2010, 02:14 PM   #2
Hevva
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You are really lucky to have the pipistrelles around this year. My next door neighbours have had a roost of around 100 for many years now (they actually sit and count them in and out!) but this year there has only been one or two. I asked at the County Show if there were problems this year and was told that several people had reported the same thing. They weren't sure whether the bats were just going elsewhere for food or whether there was some other problem. I think next year could prove the answer.
I'm not sure about helping them with their roost - the ones next door go under the wooden fascia boards and roost there.
As to the cat problem, if you put a tit box up near a tree I think the babes just come out and use the tree as shelter. It's obviously the bigger birds, i.e. blackbirds, thrushes, etc who would spend lots of time on the ground and would make easier prey. I don't have cats and there are very few around here but I would think if you were thoughtful in placing your box the babes would stand as much chance in your garden as any other. The sparrowhawk is the biggest predator in mine.
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Old 28th August 2010, 02:51 PM   #3
Nature__Lover
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Thank you for your help, hevva.
At least the sparrowhawk is a natural predator, domestic cats don't need to hunt , so it kind of messes up the food chain. (which upsets me!)

I have a hole fronted nest box, I'm guessing that's for little birds, like tits?
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Old 29th August 2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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just read it might be a good idea to put nest boxes up in autumn, so birds might winter roost there, and then nest in spring in it? is this right?
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Old 29th August 2010, 11:50 AM   #5
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Yes, definitely a good idea. It gets the birds used to the new boxes during the winter months. I put a new tit box up in the spring and although there was some interest shown, my tatty old box was used and had a lovely family of great tits.
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Old 5th September 2010, 12:34 PM   #6
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thanks for the advice
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