Where to put a nest box

The more birds in your garden the better. One very easy way to increase your bird population is to provide a site for a nest box.

How many boxes?

Putting in more than one will be great for sociable sparrows but other species prefer solitary boxes. If you have even watched two robins scrapping over territory, you will know the truth of this.

Don’t place the boxes too close to each other or birdfeeders either. Many birds are particularly¬†territorial when they have youngsters and will expend lots of unnecessary energy fighting off others if there are lots of birds around. This means less energy for finding food and consequently fewer birds.

How high should a Bird Box be?

Height above the ground should be at least 1.5 m. Above 2 m is preferable. In areas that get lots of people you could put a box as high as 5 metres.

Make sure your spot is sheltered from the full sun and prevailing winds and rain. This usually means placing a bird box so the front opening faces north or east.

However, do try some other options as well if you got multiple boxes.

Safe places for boxes

Last but not least, think about potential predators.putting the box on the top of a 6 foot garden fence is a bad idea because cats can easily get to them. To keep crows and other avian predators away from the baby birds make sure your box has a metal nest box plate to reinforce the entrance hole. This stops other birds from picking away at the wood to make whole big enough so that they can get in to the box.

If the baby birds fall from the nest before being able to fully fly then it helps if they fall into something other than a wide expanse of lawn. They will need to find shelter fast. So consider the terrain beneath the box too.

Remember that wherever you put your new bird box you should be able to get to it at least once a year to clean out old debris in winter.

Identify the birds in your garden

A wide variety of bird species visiting your garden is a sure sign that it is both healthy and bountiful (or that you regularly stock up your birdfeeders).

We all know what blackbirds, robins and pigeons look like, but there are plenty of other species that may well be visiting, so here is a guide. The illustrations are simplified to give you the key identifying markings.

Sparrow

Goldfinch
goldfinch

The vivid colours mark out the Goldfinch from all his garden bird cousins.

Starling

Collared Dove

Greenfinch

Dunnock

Wren

Great Tit