Mountain Bluebird (Photo by Leta Pezderic)

Mountain Bluebird (Photo by Leta Pezderic)

Telus partners with NCC to build bird boxes

Completed bird box at Telus event (Photo by NCC)

Completed bird box at Telus event (Photo by NCC)

The year 2018 has been declared the Year of the Bird to celebrate 100 years since the Migratory Treaty Act was put into place in Canada. This remains one of the strongest pieces of legislation protecting birds and their habitats. To mark the occasion, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) partnered with Telus to host nest box-making workshops in Alberta.

Common threats and simple solutions

Canada is home to 426 bird species, many of which are at risk of disappearing. There are several reasons for this decline, and some are much easier to address than others.

A major reason behind bird decline is collisions with houses and building windows. These are responsible for 22 million bird deaths across the country. One way to help prevent this is to hang a decoration or object in any large glass pane around your house to alert birds of the upcoming barrier. 

Birds are also experiencing a decline in their habitat. As natural areas continue to be developed, birds are struggling to find safe areas to nest and breed. Help increase the number of birds taking up residence in your backyard by building a nest box, or donate to NCC to help increase the amount of safe habitat for birds in Canada.

Nest box workshop

On June 5, 2018, NCC visited Telus’ downtown Edmonton office to coach employees on how to assemble nest boxes. Had someone been wandering around the 31st floor of the Telus building over their lunch break, they might have wondered if a gigantic group of woodpeckers had wandered into the area and started pecking away because, as it turns out, when a large group of people wield and use 20 hammers, they make quite a racket.

Telus employee showing off her finished bird box (Photo by NCC)

Telus employee showing off her finished bird box (Photo by NCC)

The group was also given a bird box kit, complete with boards and nails, and after some simple instructions, the volunteers got to work building. Once completed, the bird boxes stood just under a foot tall and approximately half-a-foot wide. They completed the boxes by adding a small hole in front for the birds to enter and exit from, a side that opens to allow for cleaning the box, a little roof to keep the elements at bay and a piece of wire attached to the top to hang it from.

The size of the nest box will help determine the type of bird species it will attract. The nest boxes made with Telus were built for small birds, such as black-capped chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches and house wrens.

The first few eager volunteers finished their projects in under an hour, while others took their time and stayed for their entire lunch break — nearly 90 minutes. 

NCC staff walked around the room, handing out extra boards and nails. They offered help, but the volunteers were independent and made quick work of their materials. In the end, everyone all got to take their new nest boxes home, ready to hang in their backyard and accommodate birds in need of a safe home. 

Build your own nest box!

If you’re interested in creating a nest box, there are plenty of creative ways to go about this! From peanut butter jars to clay, nearly anything can be used to start creating your own bird home. If you’re feeling crafty, check out this link for inspiration.

Supporter Spotlight

Renew your support for 2020