Nest box guide: how and when to put them up
Nesting boxes are a simple yet effective way to provide a safe and comfortable nesting place for the birds in your garden. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about nest boxes for birds, including when to put them up, where to put them, and which nest boxes you should buy for specific birds.
When should I put up my nest box?
If you put your nest box up during Autumn, you’ll find the birds in your garden will use it as a cosy home during the colder months. Then, come spring, they’ll return to nest in the box they have called home for the past few months. If you’re looking to attract tits to your garden, like the blue tit, you’ll find they prefer to look for nesting sites early in the year around February or March.
Where do I put the nest box?
Where to put the nest box depends on the birds you are looking to attract to your garden. As a guideline, here are some nest box rules to follow:
- Fix the nest box between 2-4 meters up a tree or wall to attract species like tits, sparrows and starlings.
- Place it on a slight tilt forward to allow any rain to drain away.
- Make sure there is a clear flight path for your feathered friends. They’ll be less likely to use it if the nest box is difficult to get to.
- In your garden, it’s likely you will only get one nesting pair unless the nesting pair are tree sparrows or house martins, who are known to nest together. If this is the case, having a few nest boxes in your garden is no problem at all.
Which direction should a bird nesting box face?
It’s important to face your nest box somewhere between North and East to create a completely bird-friendly environment. A South or West facing bird box will attract too much strong sunlight during the day, particularly if there are no trees to cover or shade it.
The best bird boxes for different species of birds
There are typically two types of nest boxes: open-front and small holed next boxes.
Open-front nest boxes
Birds like robins, blackbirds, wagtails and wrens love open-fronted nest boxes. Our Robin-friendly nest box is made from high-quality, sustainable wood – and it’s even treated so the birds in your garden can use it for many years to come.
Small-holed nest boxes
You’ll find that nest boxes with small holes attract a range of birds, from blue tits to sparrows and even woodpeckers (depending on the size of the hole). For smaller birds, we recommend our standard nest box or sparrow parade nest box. For larger birds, take a look at our woodpecker nest box that is equipped with a larger hole.
Attracting birds to your garden
Once you’ve got your next box, you’ll want to attract your favourite feathered friends into your garden! We recommend high-quality bird food like our mixed flavour suet pellets that are loved by many different species of bird. Suet pellets are a great no-mess bird food that will give your garden birds a little extra boost.