Wednesday 18 September 2013

Helena College

"A twenty metre nest-box-installing climb into the vibrant crown of this giant, wonderful, incredible, colossal, ancient (200+ yr-old) Marri tree, which glowed in the afternoon sun and tempted me (Simon) up there like a cave full of glistening jewels, was the highlight of my day. And possibly year. We only met last week but we are now best of friends. Her arms cradled me with all the gentle care in the world, and the view she offered me (I could see Mt Dale 50km away!) was immense. To think that if she could talk, this tree would whisper tales of witnessing countless Nyoongar ceremonies, then one day seeing the first party of white explorers following the Helena River into the Darling Scarp, CHANGES THE GRAIN of the human mind."
This was one of eight beautiful Eucalypt trees Simon had the privilege of climbing to install nest boxes for Black Cockatoos at Helena College, made by students at the school as part of a community services project. The students were able to salvage demolition timber and plywood to apply our 're-cyc-ology' train of thought to their boxes. We spent the first two afternoons of their ten-week project getting them started on how to build a nest box for Black-Cockatoos. They then spent the rest of the term building their own and had completed ten boxes by the end - such a great effort, and wonderful idea for a community services project!! 
The eight boxes Simon has installed have a good chance of being used by cockies as just down the road in a private garden, several boxes are currently being used by both Red-tailed and Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos.

Our enormous thanks go to Margaret Hogan and Kate Abbott for asking us to assist with the project, and the school handymen Jason and Jason for their help providing guidance to the students during construction, and helping Simon with installation too.
Here's a cutting from the local Hills Gazette showing one of the boxes ready to be hoisted up!

Sunday 8 September 2013

Kwinana Men's Shed

A beautifully decked out workshop with all the tools we could possible need made a nice change to our humble toolkit normally used to build boxes in schools. The men (and woman) at the Kwinana Men's shed were raring to get going when we arrived on this September morning to run another Re-Cyc-Ology workshop.

Unlike the schools, we didn't need to teach these guys how to use their tools - they already make beautiful things out of wood such as pens, cutting boards and clocks which are sold to raise money for future Men's Shed projects. All we had to do was give them the plans for the different boxes and away we all went. By the end of the day we had put together ten boxes from scratch - two each for Black-Cockatoos, pardalotes and ducks (yes that is right many of our ducks nest in tree hollows) and three for parrots and three for possums/parrots. These all went up in trees local native bush reserves.

We would like to thank the City of Kwinana and Friends of Homestead Ridge for organising the workshop and providing funding, and Bert Pooley and the guys from Kwinana Men's Shed for making us feel so welcome.

If anyone from the Homestead Ridge area would like to post comments about progress of the nest boxes, please do so below.