This week is the start of National Nest Box Week, Feb 14-21. As natural nesting places disappear birds rely on nest boxes in gardens but don’t wait for spring to put one up. Birds begin looking for nesting sites mid-February so this week is an ideal time to buy or build a box for your garden.
To deter predators put nest boxes 1-3 meters off the ground in a spot where a cat can’t get to it. Put a metal plate around the entry hole to deter squirrels. If you want more than one nest box in your garden, try not to place them too close together or you could have territorial issues. Swallows, house martins and swifts do like to nest near their own kind and you can buy specialist boxes for these species.
Don’t put a nest box too close to your bird feeder – the constant traffic could hinder birds from nesting there. When you hang a nest box use galvanized wire or screws that won’t rust away. Avoid hanging the nest box in direct sun and wind and keep the entrance clear of leaves and vines. Open front nest boxes for robins, wrens and pied wagtails are the exception. These are better on fences with shrubs or vines disguising the entrance from predators.
Check out our WWT Gift Shop has a great selection of nest boxes, including great starter boxes for £10 and less on your next visit.