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Where to Position Your Nest Box

There are many considerations when deciding where to position a nest box. These include; practicalities, the types of birds you’d like to attract and avoiding predators.

5 tops tips to consider when positioning a nest box

Avoiding direct sunlight and wind - we want to welcome birds into our gardens and into nest boxes, so avoiding direct sunlight and wind will make the nest box more comfortable for birds and their chicks.

Keep clear of feeders - try to position your nest box away from feeders where potential predators, such as squirrels or cats may visit for food. This will help keep the birds safe.

Multiple nest boxes - there’s no right or wrong answer about the number of nest boxes you should have in your garden. By having more than one nest box, you have more chance of attracting different species who can nest comfortably each in a nest box.

Height - when fitting your nest box, ensure it’s high enough so birds cannot be disturbed by family pets or people, especially during breeding season. If you’re looking to attract sparrows, starlings or tits, fixing your next box 2 - 4 metres up a wall or tree would be ideal.

Protect trees - Fortunately, trees are durable plants, Hammering a nail into a tree does create a wound, but if the tree is healthy, no serious harm will be done. Stainless steel or galvanized nails or screws that won't rust are the safest for trees. Never wrap the trunk in wire or rope because this can kill the tree.

Avoid positioning near predators...

Grey Squirrel

...such as squirrels and cats


Positioning a nest box to attract certain birds to your garden

Providing the right conditions for birds, taking into consideration the tips above, will help you to attract different types of birds to your garden. However, accessibility is another consideration. Firstly, when buying or making a nest box, make sure you can access its interior for future cleaning. Secondly, ensure the birds can access the nest box. Below you will find a hole guide to influence your decision when purchasing and positioning a nest box in your garden;

A 25mm hole will attract: Coal tits, Marsh tits, Blue tits

A 28mm hole will attract: Great tits, Tree Sparrows, Pied Flycatchers

A 32mm hole will attract: House Sparrows, Nuthatchers

An open front will attract: Spotted Flycatchers, Pied Wagtails and Robins

Attract different types of birds

Nest Box 3

Lastly, you can put a bird box up at any time of year, however, to be in with a greater chance of them being occupied by some of the birds above, don’t leave it much later than February. There are lots of different nest boxes available to purchase from our online store. 

For some final inspiration, it’s National nest box week 14th to 21st February, so what better time to showcase your love for garden birds by positioning a nest box in your garden.


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Mike Glanville

    Good advice thanks!

  2. herbert jones

    How on Earth can you avoid cats?

  3. Brian

    Very clear and useful advice on nest boxes and where to site them for the best results.

  4. David

    Which direction should the bird box face

  5. George Halford

    Should I line the bird box with anything?

  6. Jackie Garner

    I have a wooden nest box was going to place it amongst my honey suckle tree. Is this a good place

  7. Joan stevenson

    Have many bird boxes unfortunately we haven’t been successful yet but have many birds feeding in garden

  8. deborah docherty

    I have a few nest boxes in my garden,only to be surprised that a pair of tints have chosen to nest in my actual bird feeder,of the other nest boxes i wondered why they chose that to nest.

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