Bird boxes are great way to increase the biodiversity on your farm and attract interesting and often beneficial bird species. For birds that nest in tree cavities, but have no way of making the cavities themselves, nesting habitat is often limiting and competition can be intense. In the agricultural landscape there is often a shortage of nesting places for cavity dwelling birds like tree swallows and wood ducks.
Reduced abundance of prey has reduced populations of most bird species that eat flying insects. Tree swallows are insectivorous birds that can help farmers by managing insect pests such as flies. By building boxes for swallows, you can help to promote the species. Cliff and Barn swallows are also insectivorous species. You can encourage these species by building shelves on the outside walls of old buildings under the eaves.
Wood ducks are very attractive birds and are less common than mallards and black ducks. Attracting wood ducks gives a small boost to biodiversity but can provide enjoyable bird watching opportunities on your pond or wetland.
American Kestrels are small birds of prey that eat mice, voles and insects like grasshoppers. They are native to North and South America. Kestrels have beautiful colouring and exhibit interesting behaviour such as hovering above the ground while hunting. Songbirds will also avoid kestrels, so having one nesting nearby may deter those bird species from damaging crops.