In western North America, magpie birds make bowl-shaped nests out of sticks and twigs, working long and hard on it to make it perfect for their baby birds. They usually make the nest in the trees. Homeowners and farmers often enjoy having magpies nesting in their yard, because they have a beautiful sound and eat insect pests from gardens. To encourage a magpie to nest in your yard, you can make a simple square wooden box for the birds to nest in. Because magpies make open nests, as opposed to nesting inside trees, the wooden box should not have a top.
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Things you need
- 5 pieces solid wood or exterior-grade plywood, minimum of 15mm thick; 4 inches by 4 inches
- Galvanised nails
Lay one piece of solid wood or exterior-grade plywood, minimum of 15mm thick and 4 inches by 4 inches, down on your work surface, and hold a second board against one side.
Attach the side board into the bottom board with galvanised nails and a hammer. Hammer one nail on each end of the side board, and three in the middle, spaced out evenly across the board.
Nail the other three boards on the side of the bottom board in the same manner. Nail the side boards to each other.
Locate a tree in your yard away from bird feeders and where people congregate. Nail the nesting box against the trunk, preferably resting on one branch, as if it were a nest.
Tips and warnings
- Keep the nesting box natural, without additional paint or lacquer, to keep it attractive to the birds and let it blend into the scenery.
- Put the nest up by August, which is the time magpies start building their nest.
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