Nest Box Tips

Where to site your nest box

It’s never too early or late to put up a nest box in your garden. From January onwards, birds are looking for nesting opportunities and deciding where to rear their young. Providing the birds with a safe and comfortable place in which to nest is the highest priority when siting a box. The nest box should be accessible for maintenance, cleaning and inspection.

A few recommendations:

  • The entrance should face away from the prevailing wind and rain, and placed out if direct sunlight.
  • Boxes should not be located near bird feeders, and large numbers of feeding birds may disturb nesting birds.
  • When attaching a box to a tree, angle the front slightly downwards to prevent water from getting in.
  • Although many birds will nest low down, it’s best to position your nest box 4-6ft off the ground to reduce the risk from predators such as cats.
  • Position the box in a quiet place that a predator would find hard to reach. A metal guard round the entrance also makes it difficult for squirrels and woodpeckers to break in.
  • Check that the diameter of a hole fronted box is big enough for the species of birds you are trying to attract.
  • Place open fronted robin boxes in think cover, maybe in a climbing ivy or a think shrub.

Be patient with you box, however if it’s not used for a few years in succession, it may be worth moving to another more suitable location. There are many reasons why a box may not be used such as the presence of natural cavities nearby or the location of territory boundaries. While some boxes may be taken up immediately, some may remain vacant for no apparent reason.