Grouse house for marsupial mouse

This nestbox may seem a rather large for these little fellows, but its a safe haven, at least. This and several other nestboxes were installed in July 2011 at Happy Valley in Flowerdale, as part of our UGLN nest box project. These boxes are actually designed for Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and were built by volunteers from Rotary, South Australia.

Agile Antechinus (Antechinus agilis) are carnivorous marsupials related to quolls, devils and thylacines. You’d know it too, if you were ever to hold one in your bare hands, as they have a mouth full of sharp teeth used to catch and eat invertebrates. Their bite hurts, but rarely draws blood!
These two are last years babies. Either they’re just visiting, or they haven’t yet begun making a nest in this box. At this age, they’ve only recently been weaned and this could be two animals looking for a new home. Sexes are similar so its not possible to tell the sex of these two. In a recent study here in the Strathbogies, dispersing Antechinus travelled between 400m and 1750m (straight-line distance) from their mother’s home range!!, so these fellas might be strangers in town and very grateful to find an empty hollow.
By Bertram Lobert.

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