The importance of nest boxes in Spring

Deploying a nest box in your garden can provide an essential breeding spot for a whole host of different birds. It’s a fantastic way to provide your garden birds with a place to raise their young. Whilst many other species can hide their nest in grassy meadows and dense foliage, many common garden birds simply can’t. As Spring is such an important time for breeding birds, deploying a nest box in your garden will be sure to help them thrive.

nest box tips

Putting up a nest box

The past decade or so has been a particularly troubling time for nesting spots. An increase in many garden and home develops has meant the removal of many natural nest spots, including holes and trees and gardens. This is why bird food suppliers Kennedy Wild Bird Food are urging people to put up nest boxes, as this will give birds a great opportunity for survival. Not only this, but it’s a great way to teach children about nature.

Knowing where to put your nest box will definitely give your garden an advantage over others in terms of how many birds come to visit. Here are some top tips from the team at Kennedy Wild Bird Food.

Top tips for putting up a nest box

  • Shelter – The front of the nest box needs to be angled slightly downwards to prevent rain drops entering the box. Also, make sure the nest box is sheltered from strong winds and sunlight.
  • Away from other nest boxes and feeders– To avoid aggressive behaviour between your garden neighbour’s, nest boxes of the same type should be spaced away from one another. Also try and keep it away from feeders as it may disturb a nesting pair.
  • Distance from ground – Nest Boxes need to be placed 1-3m above the ground on tree trunks. Avoid sites where foliage blocks the entrance of the nest box. If you happen to have no trees, then placing it on a wall or shed will do the job
  • Consider a squirrel blocker Using a device such as a metal plate to deter squirrels gaining access through the hole can be purchased from any garden centre at a small cost. If you need some help with pests, you might want to visit
  • Keep away from cats Ensure the box is high enough and hidden away from predators like cats and squirrels
  • Now is a great time – Birds begin to mate around now, so popping up a nest box will give you a good chance of attracting nesting birds. But it’s never too late, as many birds will use nest boxes to roost in winter.

When will I get birds in my nest box?

Patience is key, but after a couple of years and no birds it may be worth moving the box to a more suitable location. There can be a number of reasons why your nest box is not being used. Whether this is because there are other natural nest spots nearby, or because of territory boundaries. That’s why some boxes may be taken up immediately and others may remain empty for a while.

blue tit spring

Monitoring and cleaning your nest box

Once breeding season is in full swing, continue to monitor your box. You can spend some lazy weekends with your children watching the grown up birds darting around as they build their nest or feed hungry nestlings.

If your box is discovered by invasive species, then you may have to remove the nest. By doing this, you will encourage the bird to move to another location, whilst freeing up space for the wild garden birds who need it most.

Collaborative post. Images – elena moiseeva and Erni from shutterstock.


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