Which nest box should I choose?

There are few things more satisfying or entertaining than having birds take to nest box that you have put up. Ideally, no garden should be devoid of bird houses, especially if there aren’t any trees with “natural” hollows. Why not save the birds some trouble by providing an appropriately designed artificial nest box?

There are a few rules about where to site bird houses; not where cats or squirrels can easily get at them. Not in full sun, where the chicks might literally bake. And not too close together, if you are putting up more than one. And definitely never next to a bird feeder!

We recommend that you give the birds a choice and put up two or three inexpensive bird houses around the garden. It is unlikely that all of them will be occupied, but it certainly improves the chances of something moving in.

Which bird house? As well as the “traditional” bird houses, used mainly by Blue and Great Tits, you can provide custom-built homes for several other species. Open front boxes for Robins and Spotted Flycatchers, larger hole boxes for Starlings, Nuthatches and so on. No one really knows why House Sparrows have declined so much in our cities but certainly, the lack of holes and crevices in modern buildings doesn't help. Sparrow boxes might help though.

Don’t forget to leave or even create “natural” nesting places. Leave lots of Ivy. Don’t thin out bushier trees. Don’t demolish that old wall or dilapidated shed. They are all potential nest sites.

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