National Nest Box Week 2023

With the nesting season not that far away, our garden birds will be starting to prepare for their busiest time of year. The main nesting season runs from March through to August, but rather aptly, birds are traditionally thought to have paired up by Valentine’s Day.

Many of us are aware of how vital it is to feed our garden birds, but it's also just as important that they have a suitable shelter and site for breeding. With natural habitats such as trees and hedgerows being lost to development and the increase in urban housing, some of our garden birds struggle to find a safe shelter to rear their young.

However, we can all do our bit to help, and so to better their chances of a successful season why not site a nest box in your garden or outdoor area, which will provide them with a clean, warm environment to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. 

When is National Nest Box Week 2023?

National Nest Box Week takes place every year between 14-21st February and is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology. It is a celebratory period aimed at encouraging more people to help the birds by putting up nest boxes.

  Big Garden Bird Watch  Big Garden Bird Watch

How can I be involved in National Nest Box Week 2023?

Many of us are aware of how vital it is to feed our garden birds, but it's also just as important that they have a suitable shelter and site for breeding. Even if your garden is small and you only really have space for one box, it all helps! The first thing to consider is the kind of birds you’re hoping to attract, or which regular visitors are already in your garden. However, having two or three general boxes with different hole sizes to allow for different species can increase your success. In fact, more than 60 species of bird are known to use nest boxes.

The entrance hole opening on the nest box determines which bird it will appeal to most. If you have Blue Tits or Coal Tits, then nest boxes with a smaller entrance hole of 28mm are what they will be looking for. A larger 32mm hole is preferred by Great Tits, Sparrows and the occasional Pied Flycatcher or Nuthatch. Birds such as Robins, Wrens, Blackbirds and Pied Wagtails prefer more open nest sites and will happily move into an open-fronted nest box. This diagram below shows which common garden bird species are likely to use which nest box hole type and size.

Nest Boxes

It is also important to look for quality features such as drainage holes, natural-looking designs and insulating materials treated with safe preservatives. It is also advisable to avoid nest boxes with perches on the outside as these offer an opportunity to any predators that may be lurking in your garden. All of our nest boxes are specifically designed by our team of ornithologists to optimum dimensions for the species concerned and are available in a variety of designs to ensure they look great in your garden too.

Browse our Nest Box Range Here >

We also have a selection of special offers on various nest boxes running throughout National Nest Box Week, including offers on our Vernon 28mm Nest Box, Trondheim 28mm Nest Box and Aruba 28mm Nest BoxThese offers are available while stocks last, and end 11.59pm Sunday 21st February 2021.

Where to put up a Nest Box

Just like us, when it comes to choosing a home, birds like to feel safe, secure and warm. When looking for a site for your box, try to find a sheltered, shady location, preferably facing north through east to south-east to keep out prevailing winds and strong direct sunlight. Boxes ideally should be sited at a height between 1.5m and 5.5m and out of reach of cats and other predators. If possible, a cover of foliage or climbing plants will help when young birds are leaving the nests for the first time taking their first flights.

A top tip is to avoid putting your boxes too close to feeding stations as the regular presence of other birds in their territory will make the parent birds focus on driving out competitors rather than rearing their young.

nest box

Useful Hints and Tips

There's no need to add any nesting material to your nest box, as the birds prefer to find their own and will build their nest with materials they find around your garden our outdoor space. However, you can put out things like dog hair or special organic nesting wool, which can be offered from a holder, such as our National Trust Apple Nest Wool Holder so the birds can help themselves.

Remember, it's also important to ensure your birds have access to plenty of high energy foods during the nesting season. Having a variety of foods and feeders on offer will help give your birds the energy they need to build a nest and look after their young. Not only do adult birds have to find food for themselves, but they'll also be doing numerous food runs for their chicks which can be exhausting. Live foods such as mealworms are particularly important at this time of year, as they provide vital proteins that young chicks need to grow. 

The rewards for creating a haven for garden birds are endless. Once you’ve put your nest box up – the birds will keep you entertained for hours wooing their mates, scouring the garden for food to feed their hungry chicks and perhaps the most exciting spectacle, the young fledglings taking their first flight!
Do not attempt to open a nest box during the breeding season (Feb-Aug) as this could cause birds to abandon their eggs and young. If you are keen to watch the development of nesting birds, check back on our website in March and beyond for 24/7 live camera streams of a range of species from garden birds, owls and birds of prey!

Big Garden Bird Watch  

Keep in touch!

Don't forget to share with us on our social channels if you'll be celebrating National Nest Box Week. 

We'd love to hear about and see photos of your nest boxes, if you're putting up a nest box and if you're excited to see what Sping has in store.

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Big Garden Bird Watch   Big Garden Bird Watch

Photo sent in by Jean from Worthing via Reevoo                                     Photo sent in by Alexander from London via Reevoo