Ruru Nesting Boxes

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Re: Ruru Nesting Boxes

Postby MaggiePurnell » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:49 am

Hi, we have just made a couple of ruru boxes and are now finding places to put them in our rural garden and environs. Thank you for all the info about height, shade etc, but we have lots of starlings and wonder how likely they are to nest in the boxes, and if there are any sure fire ways of keeping them out! We followed the wingspan plan with 100mm entrance. Thanks.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Ruru Nesting Boxes

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:46 pm

I've not seen any sign of starlings in the box I put up. I suspect they prefer a smaller entrance hole and a ruru would have right of way if they both happened to give it a go.
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Re: Ruru Nesting Boxes

Postby ras » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:17 pm

Further information if required. A morepork has just reoccupied this box for the second year.

It's constructed from recycled fence palings with fibre cement roof and floor and a scrap of roofing iron, so is considerable heavier than required. Am about to build another in ply. Dimensions are 450 x 450 x 500mm tall and the hole is 150mm. It's worth the effort to round over the edges of the hole, to reduce feather wear and the floor has a small quantity of native handplane shavings and broken up dried fern fronds.

I also fitted a piece of 25ish mm branch on a diagonal below the hole, from floor to near the top, to make it easier for the young to access the hole, secured by screws at each end.
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Re: Ruru Nesting Boxes

Postby MeganandMike » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:11 pm

We have made a morepork nesting box (based on the wingspan instructions), and we are hearing moreporks around so we are curious if they are using it??!! Does anybody have any ideas of what time of day would be best to have a sneaky look in the box without disturbing the birds please?
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Re: Ruru Nesting Boxes

Postby ras » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:53 am

Not sure about the best time not to disturb them, but I've found that once the female is sitting on eggs, it doesn't take much of a man-made disturbance within a few metres of the box, (breaking twig etc.), and she'll immediately jump up into the entrance way to investigate. At this point I've beaten a hasty retreat, having done this accidentally a couple of times, not wishing to upset them.

One of the side benefits of using a moderate quantity of wood shavings from a hand plane in the box, is that they tend to get attached to their feet and they then can be seen draped out the hole, or on nearby branches, which gives an early clue to occupation.

In case you haven't come across it, this is a good read on their behavior:

Good luck :)


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