National Nest Box Week was established and developed by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) to provide a focus on nesting birds and to support their conservation and local biodiversity. It encourages the placement of nest boxes in your local area, at a time when small birds traditionally pair up ahead of the breeding season.
Natural nest sites such as holes in trees or old buildings are disappearing fast, so our native birds need all the help they can get to find a safe spot to breed. Birds may even use the nest box year-round, roosting cosily in it during the winter months.
Whether you have space in your garden, are a teacher, or belong to a wildlife group, placing a nest box or two not only helps the birds but provides an opportunity to observe bird behaviour more closely. There are even nest boxes available with built-in cameras, or space to put your own camera, making the breeding season especially exciting for children and adults alike.
Choosing and placing your nest box
Wondering where you should put your next box, or what material you should choose? Here are some good tips from the BTO to help you place your next box during national nest box week:
- Use insulating material such as wood, at least 15mm thick. Metal or ceramic materials would get too hot or cold for the birds inside.
- A 32mm hole will suit most small hole-nesting birds, whereas a smaller 28mm hole will restrict the box to Blue Tits.
- The box should not be too small inside as this may limit the number of eggs laid, at least 130 square centimetres (20 square inches) is ideal.
- Perches are unnecessary and may even provide a foothold to predators such as squirrels and cats who go after the eggs and chicks.
- You will need easy access to the box to give it an annual clean ready for next year.
- Don't place nest boxes too close to each other as neighbours can be aggressive towards each other.
- Shelter the box from the weather - facing away from prevailing winds, rain and strong sunlight.
- Keep the box away from bird feeders to avoid distracting breeding pairs.
Here at Really Wild Bird Food, we have a great selection of nest boxes and accessories (such as metal plates to protect the holes from predators). Why not take a look now.
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Nest boxes from Really Wild Bird Food:
We recommend this Gardman Simple Multi Nest Box as a great starter box, as you can choose between a 32mm hole, 28mm hole or open front design to suit a wider range of birds and habitats, for just £6.95! Or why not get the kids involved to paint their own design, just £5.99. Or why not get the kids involved to paint their own design, just £5.99.
Another great option is the Simon King Predator Resist Nest Box. Designed to be super strong and provide extra protection from cats, woodpeckers and cats. It's made of sustainable timber and a 32mm stainless steel hole protector. Bird species including, great tits, bluetits and sparrows will love this nest box!
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We know that times are hard at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but National Nest Box Week is a great way to get the children out of the house and engaged in something educational. Smaller kids will love painting their own nest box then watching as feathered visitors come to make their home in it! We hope that you choose to get involved in National Nest Box Week, and we'd love it if you shared photos of your nest boxes with us over on our Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter.
Contact us for more information about bird homes, nest boxes and other wildlife products. You can call us on 01489 896785 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.