Homes for Birds

Why provide nestboxes for your Garden Birds...

You can encourage birds into your garden by providing plenty of places for them to nest. A nestbox is an excellent substitute for a hole in a tree, and many different species will use one. You are short-cutting the normal house-hunting process that most of us are familiar with… location, location, location!!!

In some cases you are even providing a ready-to-move-into home rather than a self-build… If you can supply a ready-made nest for house martins or swallows it can save so much time that often they can have an extra brood per season. Supplying nesting materials is really useful, too (and good fun to watch).

The species you attract will depend on the location, the type of box and the size of the entrance hole.

Where to put your nestboxes

Put the box in a quiet place out of the reach of those pesky moggies… Go for between 2 and 5 metres off the ground, on a wall, fence or tree. If possible, try to face it between north and east, as this will avoid the wettest winds and the strongest sunlight. If you can just tilt the box forward slightly so that driving rain hits the roof and does not enter the box, that will also help.

Which box for which bird...

Put different types of box in different areas of the garden. For example, you can put several sparrow parades together as they are very sociable birds, and I put house martin nests on the eaves of my house. Put open-fronted boxes lower down and hide them in vegetation to attract robins or wrens. A wall full of ivy is perfect for this.

Maintaining your Birdy Boxes..

If you get a chance, an annual clean-out of your nestboxes is a good thing to prevent a build-up and to remove any parasites like fleas. Adding a handful of clean hay or wood shavings is not essential but may encourage winter birds to roost.

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