How to make a bird box and other thoughts.

Why won’t it go.

Piece of wood and a set square
Starting the bird box with Doris the chicken.

Recently I spent five days laid out with an aching in my stomach that would not shift.  Each day I went to bed thinking it will go tomorrow and in the morning I woke up with the same ache.  It turned out to be nothing serious (some kind of weird bug/acid thing).  I know. Five days is nothing.  The doctor did mention the possibility of gallstones if the prescription didn’t soothe.  No surprise there, I had already diagnosed myself with gallstones three days in – The curse of the internet.

Is the following self talk familiar to you?

“No, nope, no I am not going to look my symptoms up, It will tell me I have a plague”.  

Five minutes later: “I should probably just have a quick check….for reassurance” 

Ten minutes later: “I have a plague!” *Dials 111* to double check. (Not 999 because you don’t want to panic anyone with your plague obs).

Five minutes later after hanging up:  “I’m not going to die…. It’s nothing…. They said it wasn’t an emergency…. Call an ambulance if I pass out.  Okay.  How do I, is, er……” 

Thirty seconds later: *Lays back down resolved to passing out and probably dying*. 

It is a rare very occurrence that I feel ill enough I actually stay in bed. I feel incredibly lucky to be in relatively good health for now, for the most part. As someone who is self employed, no sick pay, no holiday pay, the thought of ongoing pain which might take a while to pinpoint, and then an operation made me take a few deep breaths (Ow that hurt).

Saw and wood in black and white

What would I do in that event? It wasn’t the case, I was being overly dramatic, but it did make me think.  

(Side note: So grateful too to have an National Health Service with amazing people who work in it – superheroes.  Lucky us.)

How to make a bird box

I don’t really know what this has to do with making a bird box. Except that when I was in bed, making one was the only thing I wanted to do

(alongside getting back into my workshop) on the very first day I felt better.  To celebrate being well or just the thought of being active again. 

I may have wanted to climb a tree.

I frequently have moments where I am doing something physical and it flits into my mind that one day its likely that I will not always be able to run fast just for fun, to dance quite as energetically as I do in the kitchen or high kick just because I can.

And it is a luxury isn’t it? – to be briefly unwell and then to get better. Lucky me.

Bird box finishedWe used this guide from the RSPB which was brilliant, easy to follow and straight forward. I also found this handy guide to the size of bird holes for species.

The entrance hole size depends on the species you hope to attract:
  • 25 mm for blue, coal and marsh tits.
  • 28 mm for great tits, tree sparrows and pied flycatchers.
  • 32 mm for house sparrows and nuthatches.
  • 45 mm for starlings.

Fifteen minutes after it went up (I did climb a tree) some curious coal tits were already on the perch peeking inside. 

We must have some pretty well fed coal tits as we had to make the hole just a little bigger so they could squeeze their whole bodies in and currently they are still pecking around the entrance in a bid to open it up further.

Will they nest?  I don’t know. They fly in and out and look interested so here is hoping…

We have another two bird boxes up and one looks like its being visited daily by Blue tits, another is for Wrens.

So how to make a bird box?  First, if you must be ill, then with a bit of luck, you must get better.  

Picture of bird box in the trees




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