Nice Nests are species-specific nestboxes built from discarded wood scraps salvaged from tear-downs, remodels, or new home construction. I transform waste wood back into breeding habitat for birds, bats, and bees. Each Nice Nest is carefully designed to create functional, science-based nesting habitat for the target species. Sadly, so many of the "birdhouses" out these are nothing more than cutesy, dysfunctional yard art made for people, not birds. Nice Nests are different. Every nestbox I build features:
1) Proper dimensions: The hole size, box depth, and floor diameter for every Nice Nests are species-specific. Correct hole size allow the target species to access the box while excluding invasives; the depth of the box is important in preventing predation; proper floor size allows the nestlings adequate room to grow.
2) Easy cleanout: Nice Nests are designed to make cleanout simple: just twist and pull the locking pin, grab the door pull and the door pivots up and open - no tools required. Removing the old nesting material is important for the health of the next generation of young. In my experience, cleaned nestboxes also get used at a higher rate by a broader range of species.
3) Drainage and ventilation: All Nice Nests have necessary ventilation up under the roof line - as well as drainage in the floor to keep the box cool and dry.
4) Textured interior: Smooth wood on the inside of the door can pose a problem for fledglings who must climb up and out of the box. All Nice Nests featured a grooved surface on the inside of the door to assist the fledgling when its time to leave the nestbox..
5) Predator guards: Most Nice Nests feature a predator guard to prevent squirrels, rats, or woodpeckers from chewing or pecking open the entrance hole. The metal ring preserves the size of the access hole, protects the eggs and young from predation, and extends the functional life of the nestbox.
My mission at Nice Nests is to re-purpose waste wood into science-based nesting habitat for future generations of our feathered friends (and bats and bees!). Still, I love the artistry involved: each Nice Nest is a unique work of functional art. I personally build every Nest - from salvaging the wood, to re-purposing it into modern, rustic, inventive, and supremely functional habitat. The accents of color are matched to nature: the red of the crest of Pileated Woodpecker, the vibrant green of Wolf Moss (letharia vulpina), the yellow is Arrowleaf Balsamroot, the native sunflower of the American West, the purple matched to a scraggly lilac that grows next to a long-abandoned barn near Twisp, WA. The salvaged wood has a story. So do the door pulls, ranging from random rusty bolts from ancient farm machinery to river rocks polished by water and time.
In addition to building Nice Nests, I work with landowners and conservation organizations to conserve, create, or enhance breeding habitat for cavity-nesting birds. I offer on-site installation and consultation services for everything from backyards to landscape-scale projects covering hundred of acres.
Patrick Hannigan / Winthrop, WA