𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗧 𝗕𝗢𝗫 𝗪𝗘𝗘𝗞! 𝟭𝟰𝘁𝗵 - 𝟮𝟭𝘀𝘁 𝗙𝗲𝗯𝗿𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆!
It is that time of year where the birds will be looking for somewhere safe to lay their eggs. Nest box week has been running for over 20 years and is now an important part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
What Birds Use Which Nest Boxes?
There are 5 different specifications that require different types of boxes
- Small hole
- Big hole
- Large hole
- Open fronted
- Special modified
- Tree sparrow
- House sparrow
- Blue tit
- Great tit
- Coal tit
- Great spotted woodpecker
- Stock dove
- Tawny owl
- Pied wagtail
- Barn owl
- House martin
There is such a variety of nest boxes to choose from that it can become a minefield. Finding the right box depends on what birds you have in your garden. If you have Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Tree Sparrows then a box with a 28mm hole is the one you would need. The Woodstone nest box 28mm is perfect for these smaller birds. As the Woodstone is made from wood fibres and concrete, it makes it looks natural, keep the wind and rain at bay and helps to keep little birds warm. The Woodstone also comes in a 32mm which is ideal for birds such as Nuthatches, House Sparrows and Great Tits.
Birds such as Blackbirds, Wrens and Robins prefer an open fronted nest box. The Open Fronted Birch Nest Box is ideal for these birds! This box is made from FSC approved wood and is a sturdy, strong and of course can’t get any more natural than being made from a log themselves. Other nest boxes for these birds are the Blackbird Nest Box and the Open Fronted Woodstone Nest Box. These nest boxes are great for keeping warm, due to the high-quality materials used and the great protection they offer the birds.
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Looking After Your Nest Box
Cleaning your nest box is very important to remove any dead twigs, leaves and anything else the birds may have left behind. Cleaning can be done between September and the end of January once you know the birds have left.
When emptying out the nest boxes, dispose of the nest and any un-hatched eggs into the compost. When removing any leftover debris, by using a stiff brush it will help to get in those tough spots, i.e. dirty corners of the bird box. Wearing gloves is always advised when removing the nest box debris as some of this may contain fungi that grows on damp materials and can cause respiratory issues.
Remember that birds like the Sparrow may haver a second or third brood in the same nest, so leave ant boxes that have Sparrows in until the autumn when you are certain they are no longer in use. Some birds even use the nest boxes in winter to shelter from the cold weather, extra warmth and to stay safe from any predators.
When placing a nest box up a tree or on the side of a wall or house, always make sure it is somewhere that animals such as cats cannot reach as they can easily take the eggs or take any birds that may be in there at the time. Ideally place the box 1 metres – 5 metres high depending on location etc and always make sure that there is a clear flight path that the birds can easily access.