The Studio Nest Box

Spring 2013

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Squirrels are part of the landscape here on my patch and rather than get annoyed with their voracious appetites and constant attacking of my feeders, I started to build them their own feeders and watch them a little more.

 Although I would love to have our native red squirrel here in my patch, it is the greys that are common around here. Even if they weren't, the habitat here is not condusive to reds. I must admit, these guys are full of character and very comical and entertaining. They have been performing well in my squirrel Nut House feeder, so it got me thinking about having some kind of squirrel box. Through tweeting, Mike Mottram came back to me, as he had contacts with some people in the USA who were doing just that! He emailed me some plans over for the box they are using and I took them round to a friend of mine, who is a lot more handy on the woodwork front than me. We made a few adjustments of our own to create the WildlifeKate Squirrel Studio!.....

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Made from top grade marine plywood

Removeable lid

Entrance hole

Bolt to keep lid secure

Terrace... so young ones don't fall out!

Opening for cleaning

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SquirrelBox1

Pipe for exit of cable to deter nibbling!

An opening at the base will allow for cleaning.

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With the lid removed, you can see the secure inner chamber, and the hole for the camera.

Stong clasp to keep the lid secure.

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squirrelcam

The little 'patio' area provides a place for the young squirrels to sit when they first emerge from the nest box.

This box is inspired by Lori and Patrick's squirrel box, in the USA. Take a look at their website and their video channel to see the footage they have obtained.... lt's hope my squirrels like their new residence!

The Studio Box - Setting up

I was keen to get my squirrel box up and decided to use the 'Owl and hawk' cam from HandyKam in this box as the IR is good on it and it is all sealed in a compact unit, with nothing for squirrels to nibble on! I set it all up in the house and checked the image was ok and that everything was working. It all looked great!I had looked around for a suitable tree and the best one was actually on my neighbour's boundary. I nipped down and asked if he minded me putting it up on there. He was happy, so the challenge began! The box was heavy and difficult to manage and it took about three hours to finally get it up and in place.....

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The chosen tree.......

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... and mounted the camera safely inside.

I added some roof felting to protect the top of the box...

After much struggling, we finally got the box up and secure in the chosen tree. I can just see it from my conservatory, which is great as I can keep an eye on it.

The finishing touches were some peanuts on the terrace and a soft, inviting bed inside of hay and dried leaves... what squirrel could resist????

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It was only a matter of hours before the squirrel discovered the peanut stash and visited the box. I just need a female to deside to raise a family here now!

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