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Kookaburra nestbox

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The kookaburra is another animal that takes readily to a backyard nestbox. They are not popular with small birds, although they rarely prey on birds.  More serious is the noise that they make; kookaburras rise before all other birds, and their call rises also ... to a crescendo ... and more than once.

On the other hand they are very intelligent birds, and their long gestation and fledging periods, plus their very active and vocal behaviour during breeding, make them by far the most entertaining of all the backyard hollow-users.


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Probably more than half of all kookaburras nest in excavated termite mounds, but they will just as readily use a tree hollow. Young kookaburras keep the nest clean by excreting out the entrance, so the base of the entrance needs to be level with the floor. This makes a kookaburra nestbox quite different to those for other animals.

Our initial experience was with a box constructed from a plastic drum which was stabilised against UV radiation, as illustrated above. While some kookaburras have used a 10l drum, most would probably not use anything smaller than 15l.  This design makes a light, strong and spacious box.  It was ultimately abandoned because the drum did become brittle and also because it melted easily in bushfires. 

Our present design is a ply box to the dimensions shown in the sketch.  This box has been well proven with kookaburras.  

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