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Bird Boxes

In the UK, there are over 60 species of birds that use garden nest boxes.  Our bird boxes are designed to mimic natural cavity nesting sites, attracting a variety of small bird species including:

Blue Tit

Nuthatch

Great Tit

Redstart

Coal Tit

Pied Flycatcher

Marsh Tit

Robin

Willow Tit

Pied Wagtail

House Sparrow

Spotted Flycatcher

Tree Sparrow

 

Box types

The size of the entrance hole will determine the types of birds that can use your box.  Some species prefer fully open fronted boxes.   Look out for our multi-use kits which can be used for both.  You can remove the top front panel to create an open entrance.  Here’s a list of entrance diameters and which birds use them:

·         25mm: Blue Tit, Marsh Tit, Tree Creeper.

·         28mm: Great Tit, Tree Sparrow, Crested Tit.

·         32mm: Nuthatch, Pied Flycatcher.

·         45mm: Starlings, Swifts.

·         50-150mm:  Owls, Kestrels, Doves, Jackdaws.

·         Open Fronted:  Robin, Spotted Flycatcher, Wren, Song Thrush, Blackbird.

 
Entrance hole plates

Some boxes have a metal case round the he entrance hole.  This is designed to prevent it being enlarged by other birds or predators such as squirrels.  It can also be used to shrink the hole size.

Where to put your box

Nests can be fixed to walls, fences, trees or buildings.  Try to position yours in a sheltered location.  If the site is open to the elements, make sure the entrance isn’t exposed to direct sunlight and position it at an angle so wind and rain is directed away.

Open-fronted nesting birds prefer sites that are hidden from view in thick vegetation.  So you could attach your box to a wall or fence that has shrubs and trailing plants growing against it.

Generally, boxes to attract small birds can be positioned between 1.5m and 5m high.  However, this depends on the species of bird you’d like to attract.  For example, Pied Wagtails like to nest higher up, boxes should be at least 5m off the ground.  Blue tits will nest between 1m and 5m up, but they like a clear flight path to the entrance.  Open-fronts should be below 2m.

Do some research first.  The British Trust for Ornithology website has lots of useful information - http://www.bto.org/nnbw/which.htm

Set-up tips

·         Some species, like sparrows, prefer to nest in colonies - multiple boxes side by side, or staggered will attract colonial birds.

·         It’s not ideal to put nests near feeders or tables.  Lots of other visiting birds and activity may disturb nesting pairs.

·         Consider threats and try to position your box away from structures that predators can easily climb.

·         Don’t be tempted to put in lots of nesting material, it can put them off.  Just use a small amount of hay or wood shavings.  It’s better to scatter other materials round the garden instead.

Cleaning

When the breeding season is over, you should clean out the box.  Our boxes are designed for easy access, panels can be removed and some models have hinged lids.

According to Bird Protection Law, this must be done between 1 August and 31 January.  We recommend cleaning out in October or November.   

·         You should wear gloves and a dust mask to protect yourself.

·         Remove the old nest and any un-hatched eggs. 

·         Use boiling water to kill any insects or parasites. 

·         Never use chemical cleaners, insecticides or pest treatments. 

·         Once the box is clean and dry, you can encourage birds to use it as a winter roost.