Students at Rockingham Beach Primary School in Western Australia were upset when they noticed that native baby birds were being blown out of tree nests after strong storms, so they designed a project to protect their local avian wildlife!

Rockingham Beach is situated about 45 minutes south of Perth on a beautiful stretch of coast. The primary school is surrounded by native trees that attract the diverse population of local birds. However, the coast is also susceptible to strong storms that can knock baby birds out of their nests in the trees.

Through the Alcoa W5 project, students at Rockingham Beach Primary School decided to build nesting boxes that would shield baby birds from the wind and promote higher survival rates for native birds. They started by researching what kind of nesting boxes were most suitable for native bird species and designed the boxes so that birds would be attracted to building their nests there.

“It was amazing to see our students dive into this challenge, so many of them showed compassion for how they would make the nesting boxes feel like home. They were more worried about what the inside would be for the birds. This project was very rewarding for our students, it was great to see so many wanting to build some for their own trees.” – Teacher, Rockingham Beach Primary

The boxes are made from durable marine plywood so that they can stay strong against the coastal climate. Students built the new bird homes themselves and attached branches to invite birds into the nesting boxes. In addition to learning about what types of nesting boxes attract different species of birds, the students gained practical skills about designing and constructing sustainable products that will last into the future.

The project will continue next spring when the students observe whether their nesting boxes result in fewer baby birds blown to the ground. The students really enjoyed the experience of building the boxes and coming up with an innovative solution to an environmental issue that they feel passionate about!