Sometimes putting up a bird box and camera will not produce the results we want. Getting birds to occupy your garden bird box may need a little more consideration than you might imagine. Here's why.
High density urbanisation creates a real challenge for wildlife. It strips away the natural habitat that all sorts of creatures rely on. These problems extend to the relatively less populated suburbs of our cities. Even areas that are not so far from the countryside can present a very challenging time for garden birds.
The problems come from the perceived idea that what looks good for the human inhabitant will be good news for the garden dweller. Generally this is not so. Consider the arrangement of one's own living environment.
The average house will be so arranged to provide for the basic necessities of life. A kitchen stocked with food would be a usual requirement. This provides a local convenience for sustenance. When the larder is bare we nip out to the local store to pick up supplies. In other words we have to go further afield when our easiest supply runs low. Imagine if the local store should have difficulty supplying our needs. Should this happen you have to go even further to get your basics. How long would this carry on before you decided to move closer to your new food source?
Your home will also provide safety and security from predators or undesirable visitors. What would you think if somebody came along with a mechanical digger and made a mess of your front door? If you were unable to re instate your security I bet it wouldn't be long before you moved on.
Now consider the plight of the garden bird and the environmental provision of the average garden.
The majority of people arrange their garden for ease of maintenance and nice aesthetics. However, what we see as nice can be disastrous for garden birds. Not so long ago, garden subdivision would have been achieved using hedges. Unfortunately these need regular maintenance. Since maintenance means time and effort. A human remedy will be to call in the excavator and make the hedgerow disappear. Only to be replaced by a lovely wooden fence. The result of this exercise will be the destruction of nesting sites for the birds you like to see. Some birds prefer to nest high up in trees but for many species the thorny hedgerow provides the best accommodation.
Nesting birds like home security. A thorny hedgerow will provide this and it might just follow that the larder is contained here as well. A hedge will be home to lots of insects. It will produce flowers and berries. These in turn attract more insects. To your average native garden bird a hedgerow provides a large natural larder.
If the hedge is long gone or is something that you think has to go. Perhaps you could compensate by providing seed feeders and fat ball feeders. But remember if you build up a community of garden bird visitors. Then you will need to maintain the food supply. Fail to do this you know what to expect.
Another source of bird food that may have been eradicated from the garden is the all-important compost heap. Grass clippings and trimmed hedge waste is more often than not sent to the local tip. This is such a waste of garden goodness. Whilst your clippings are decomposing they provide a great source of worms and other creepy crawlies. The gardener then gets the benefit of it when it turns back into nutrient rich soil. Consideration for garden inhabitants prior to making sweeping changes to your garden layout will only help to get those bird box inhabitants that you wish for.