Protecting Bird Nesting Boxes from Bushtail Possums

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filmdforce's picture
Protecting Bird Nesting Boxes from Bushtail Possums

Hello all, I am so excited to have your assistance with my dilemma.  I relocated to Ipswich Qld area 18 mths (2 summers ago) to a nearly quarter acre of residentia block. The original owner had planted native rainforest landscaping in the 80s and the owner before me killed or removed most but I have been trying to rehabilitate where I can.  The original owner has an old possum box which is still up in a dead tree and prior to research had planned on removing the tree but i will now keep it. I want to install bird nesting boxes and I have been leaving wild bird mix with fruit/nut out for a variety of birds that frequent my backyard - rainbow lorrikeets, pale-faced rosella, galahs, king parrots, crested pigeons, doves, pee wees, and indian miners mainly.  In both late summers, I have found dead rainbow lorrikeets all bones intact, wings & tails full feathered but the body skinned with all flesh and internals removed.  I spoke to local wildlife people and rspca wildlife hospital and they had suggested prey birds but now after some research a bushtail possum might be the culprit.  This opens up to my there a way to protect bird nesting boxes from brushtails? Some articles I have read say plant spiny scrubs but what are they?

Woko's picture

Hi there filmdforce. I must say bouquets to you for trying to rehabilitate the natural environment of your patch & brickbats to your previous neighbour for destroying most of it.

To normalise the competition between the Brushtail Possums & native birds of your area it's important to restore, as far as possible, the original habitat which once existed where you live. This means planting original species & replicating the original structure of the bushland. If you can get your neighbours & local government to join in so much the better.

While you're waiting for the vegetation to mature you might like to try, where you can, gradually increasing the number of nest boxes in order to reduce the competition. Hopefully. As well, you may need to ensure a good proportion of the nest hole sizes advantage as many of the bird species as possible, not the possums. But don't discourage the possums entirely because they're a part of the environment, too.

This will all take time & patience. It's a sad fact that it takes little time for destructive people to wreck the natural environment but ages for constructive people to restore it - if it can ever be restored to its original state.

You might also consider eradicating as many Indian mynahs as possible as they're a feral pest (as you probably know) & compete aggressively for nesting locations with native critters. Enlisting the support of neighbours & the local council would help immensely. Type Indian mynah or Common Mynah in the search box near the top of this page for information on how to deter Indian mynahs.

You might also want to write a journal, with photos, of your work & its results as such information is valuable in helping others to restore natural environments.

I hope that other Birds in Backyarders will have other suggestions to help you with your dilemma.

Good luck with your efforts, filmdforce.

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