Nest Boxes for Native Animals

Many native animals live in tree hollows but with fewer hollows available, nest boxes are proving to be a useful alternative for providing a home for wildlife.

In Australia about 300 vertebrate species, which includes birds, possums and microbats, use tree hollows for nesting, protection from predators, shelter and roosting. By providing nest boxes, you can help species survive, even in your own backyard.

Different animals require different types of boxes so it’s a good idea to investigate the animals that visit your area and the types of homes they require. Depending on the size of the animal and whether they live alone or in family groups will also determine the size of the nest box and its opening.

Nest boxes require some maintenance and you may need to check that introduced or feral species such as European Bees or Rainbow Lorikeets haven’t moved in.

There are a number of organisations that make nest boxes such as Natsync Environmental or the Serpentine Jarrahdale Landcare Centre. Your local council may even have a nest box project running.

If you would like to make your own nest boxes, here are a few books and websites that include instructions on making different boxes.

Nest Boxes for Wildlife – A Practical Guide by Alan and Stacy Franks. Bloomings, 2004

The Nest Box Book 2nd Edition compiled by the Gould Group. Melbourne, 2008

Wildlife Note No 3 January 1997, Department of Environment and Conservation (includes which animals use nest boxes in the south-west of Western Australia)

Microbats in the Garden (pdf): Read this News Paws story about creating microbat-friendly gardens and the type of boxes bats like best.

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