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Pale-headed rosella
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Dollarbird nestbox

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Dollarbirds are Australia's only migratory hollow-user. They typically breed in hollows at the very tops of tall gum trees.

Dollarbirds do take readily to nestboxes, especially if they are located very high in trees. However, putting boxes up very high is not easy to do, and high boxes are even worse to maintain.

We have now had six instances of dollarbirds breeding in nestboxes at our standard height of 5-6m.  This is very low compared with where they normally breed. The photo illustrates one successful attempt, in this case using a duckbox.

All six boxes had one thing in common - a large volume of open space in front of the box, with no tree trunks or vegetation either side of the box and down to ground level. Doubtless this emulates the conditions that exist where they normally breed high up in trees. While these observations are based on a small sample, it does appear that, for dollar birds, the siting of the box may be more important than the size of the box.

Dollarbirds appear to have no particular preference as regards shape of box.  They have, for example, used our Rosella box and a drum-type boobook box, as well as the duck box.   Nevertheless, the clutch size (three is common) and the size of the chicks indicate that a large box is probably best for this bird.  They also seem to be very prone to lice problems, and a larger box would be better from this perspective as well.  The sketch adjacent shows the dimensions of the ply version of our Boobook box. 


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