Artificial Nesting

As primary forests in Costa Rica continue to grow and preserved, a lot of the mature trees inside these forests serve as a space for bird’s nests. It’s very important to consider and understand the different options that we can provide to regenerate the population of this species that is still vulnerable. Scarlet macaws, just like any other bird, are allies and necessary for the ecological balance in our own habitat.

Artificial nests increase the possibilities to nest to many different types of birds that otherwise could not have access to this resource and element which is essential for their reproduction. In the case of the scarlet macaw, who normally depend on the cavity of a big tree, which nowadays are scarce, it’s their only chance to lay their eggs and care for their babies once they hatch. Macaw couples lose the opportunity to reproduce when such cavities or spaces are not visible or available to them. The space has to have certain characteristics that allow proper nesting, hatching and feeding.

In March 2019, we started with the project of installation of 14 nests in total, 5 designated specifically for the red macaw. The nests for the macaws are fabricated with fiber glass and were probed previously and approved by different conservation programs.

By September 2020 we have monitored and observed that at least 64% of the nestes (9 out of 14) have been successful. Thanks to the artificial nest boxes installed at Santuario Macao, many different birds have been able to reproduce. We include and observed parrots, flytraps, thrushes, woodpeckers and nuthatchers, amongst others. We even registered a kinkajou (Potos flavus) residing in one of the nests designated for the macaws. We have also seen snakes (Psuestes poecilonotus) around the smaller nestes.

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Installation of our first artificial nest for a macaw in a Jacarandá tree

The nest boxes provide a safe space for the macaw couple and many other bird species, contributing this way to the recovery of different population of birds, pollinators and seed dispersers alike.