NATIONAL NEST BOX WEEK
14th FEBRUARY TO 21st FEBRUARY 2017
Box with entrance tube
With many of birds' natural nesting places being destroyed our birds are in need of a little help. Putting up bird boxes is a very good way of encouraging them back into our gardens. National Nest Box Week is a great time to do this as most of our feathered friends will be on the lookout for the perfect place to nest soon.
There are so many different nest boxes available to buy that it can get very confusing but below are a few hints and tips to help you get the right box for you and where the best place is for your box to go. If you would like to make your own nesting box please click on the picture below.
Nest Boxes with a hole:-
The best place to site a bird box with a hole is 2-4 meters from the ground either on a wall or tree.
The size of the hole will attract different birds:-
25mm will attract birds like Blue Tits, Coal Tits or Marsh Tits
32mm will attract birds like Pied Flycatchers, Great Tits, Nuthatches and Tree Sparrows
Open fronted nest boxes:-
The best place to site an open fronted bird box is low down under 2m hidden in vegetation but be careful the predators can't reach them either.
Open fronted nest boxes will attract birds like Robins, Wrens & Spotted Flycatchers.
When deciding on where to place your bird boxes think of the sunlight it will be exposed to, the best direction is either north or east. Birds will need a clear flight path to the entrance and if you tilt the box slightly forward it will avoid driving rain going into the nest.
If the ground directly below the box is naked consider planting a shrub underneath (where possible). Fledglings leaving the nest may fall and this will offer them some cushioning and somewhere to hide if predators are watching. If possible try something thorny as this will deter the predators to go looking.
Box with no perch
Box with extended roof
Protecting your Nest Boxes from Predators
Nesting birds attract a lot of attention from predators, such as cats, squirrels and woodpeckers, who find the eggs, hatchlings and the parents a very tasty meal. Below are a few suggestions on how you can help protect your birds from these predators:-
* Remove the Perch - Most perches on nest boxes are there for decorative reasons, birds do not need then to gain access in and out. In fact they actually provide predators' access into the boxes as it can give them a perch to use to raid the nest.
* Hole restrictors - As in the picture on the right, a hole restrictor is a metal plate that is fixed over the hole of the nest box. This deters all predators trying to increase the hole size and gaining access. Click here to view our hole restrictors
* Roof Size - As in the picture on the left a longer roof will prevent predators being able to reach inside the nest box. An extended roof will also create better protection from rain and shade from sunlight.
Repellents - Songbirds do not have a strong sense of smell or taste so another way of deterring the predators is to spray hot pepper sprays or natural products with strong smells. They can be applied to the entrance holes, on the roof or nearby plants.
* Entrance Tube - A piece of PVC pipe attached over the entrance of the bird box is another great way of deterring the predators from reaching the nest.
Please find below some links to Nest boxes, we would suggest these or something similar:-
The Official Woodcrete Nest Box - to view click here
With a 25 year guarantee this nest box claims to be indestructible
2GR Nest Box - to view click here
With its unusual design, this box gives added protection to its occupants from cats, magpies, jays and martens.
3SV - to view click here
The 3SV has a deeper entrance hole to provide protection from cats and martens.
2M Nest Box - to view click here
Occupants will be much safer from marauding cats and squirrels.
Box with hole restrictor
We recommend you clean your bird boxes each year however, by law you can only clean them between August & January (Wildlife & Countryside act 1981). To clean them wash the boxes with boiling water. Do not use any form of insecticides or chemicals as this may harm the birds.
Once washed wait for the box to completely dry and inspect it for any damages which may need repairing.
We also recommend you give all new boxes a wash with boiling water before putting up.
If you are interested in making your own nest box please click on the picture below for instructions on how to do this:-
Another great way of encouraging birds into your garden is by feeding them and also the plants you grow. For a cheap and effective way to feed the birds why not turn a plastic bottle into a bird feeder, this is a great activity to get the children involved with too. To find out how please click here .......
Thinking of what to plant in your garden? Click here
to view our leaflet on planting for birds.
SongBird Survival is a charity commissioning research into the decline of Britain’s songbirds. With your support and membership we hope to reverse their decline.
Click here to find out more……