Our nest boxes meet both the requirements of the birds in terms of optimum dimensions and also come in a variety of styles and materials to appeal to your taste too. We have general nesting boxes aimed at a range of similar-sized birds, plus many that are designed for a single species only such as House Martins, Starlings and Owls. 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. National Nest Box Week takes place every year between 14-21st February and is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology.
Why do we provide Nest Boxes?
The most common users of nest boxes are birds that like to nest in cavities in rotting timber. There are many areas, such as gardens, which have sufficient food for birds, but no suitable nest sites as standing timber that has started to decay is usually regarded as a danger. By providing artificial cavities in the form of nest boxes we can make a real difference to the breeding success of many species.
Design of Nest Boxes
Most people will tend to think of hole entrance boxes as the typical nest box design. These are designed to imitate, and ideally improve upon, a naturally occurring cavity. We produce small nest boxes for birds up to the size of Great Tit and House Sparrow, a special Treecreeper nest box and a larger size intended for use by the Starling. We also produce large nest boxes for species like Kestrel and Tawny Owl, and “replica nests” for birds such as House Martin and Swallow.
Species that don’t nest in holes will either nest on the ground, amongst vegetation such as the fork of a tree, or in naturally occurring ledges and cavities. We don’t produce anything for the first two categories, but for species that would naturally nest on some sort of ledge or open cavity, such as among the roots of a fallen tree, we produce open fronted nest boxes.
Siting of Nest Boxes
For all nest boxes a good general rule is to shelter from prevailing wind and bright sunlight – normally facing north, through east to south-east. If mounting on a tree avoid the side that water rushes down in heavy rainfall. Bear in mind that when the young birds leave the nest they are making their first ever flight, and they don’t always get it right first time! Some sort of vegetation that they can perch on and hide amongst can be a big help in the first 30 minutes out of the nest.
Hygiene for Nest Boxes
Nest boxes should be cleaned twice a year. We offer a range of accessories and hygiene products that can make this an easy process. Once in January to remove any fouling left by birds that have used the nest box as a roost site, and again at the end of the breeding season, usually regarded as April to August. As birds are very sensitive to disturbance at the nest it is safest to defer this task until sometime in October. All nest material should be discarded. No further treatment should be necessary unless there is an infestation of parasites, in which case it is safer to use hot water than chemicals.
Nest Box Hole Size Guide
25mm entrance hole for Marsh/Willow Tit, Coal Tit and Blue Tit.
32mm entrance hole for Great Tit, Nuthatch, House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow.
Open fronted nest boxes for Robin, Spotted Flycatcher and Pied Wagtail.