One of the projects we’ve been planning for a while is the construction, hanging, and monitoring of nest boxes for macaws.
Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow, and Red-and-green macaws favor nesting cavities near the top of older trees. So how do you make a 200-pound wooden box appealing to a pair of macaws? All you need to do is hoist it 100 feet in the air and attach it to the trunk of a massive tree. Simple, right?
This past weekend was the chosen day for hanging our first completed nest box (built largely thanks to the hard work of one of our summer interns, Maddy).
The whole process of hanging the box took three days, and the group effort of 8 of us.
In order to hoist the box up, it was attached to a rope drawn over one of the sturdier branches of the tree, and brought back down to secure to the ground. We used one pulley to do so, but without any others, there was no mechanical advantage…meaning that the full weight of the box would need to be lifted up by our downwards pulling. So what does that take?
It takes 5 people jumping up in the air to pull a rope with all their might to advance the box a couple of inches at a time upwards….all the way to the top of the tree.
FINALLY, we get it up. Now to the even harder part—how to secure it around the trunk of the tree?
Enter Nature Dave on the canopy access. I meet Geoff at the top, and we begin the valiant effort of somehow trying to toss a rope from Geoff (on one side of the trunk) to me (180° around the tree, which has a circumference of about 10 meters).
Somehow, we pull it off. The product of our hard work was beautiful. And the view from the top? Even better.