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Great Tits are amongst the commonest species to use nestboxes.

Great Tit (C Timmons)

Pied Wagtails prefer to nest in open-fronted nestboxes.

Pied Wagtail (M Finn)

 

kids_birdtables_no4small.jpg Nesting Boxes

The 'hole' story

Some birds nest inside holes in old or damaged trees. Where there are no natural holes they may use nestboxes, if natural food is available nearby.

Designing a nestbox

Birds are different sizes, but will use 'standard' boxes, if you change the size of the entrance hole to suit them. Blue Tits and Great Tits are most likely to use these.

With a large front opening, this box is used by birds that nest in cracks and among creepers, such as Robins, Wrens and Spotted Flycatchers.

Making a box

Use solid wood or exterior-grade plywood, about 1.5cm thick. Thin wood is not weather-proof and most other materials will not last long outdoors.

Use nails, screws or weather-proof glue to join the pieces together.

Decide the size of the entrance hole.

Use a brace and bit, a holesaw or a fretsaw to make the hole.

A new box will show up to predators and vandals. Paint it with a modern preservative stain which is non-toxic.

Warning: Do not use creosote!

Beat the weather

Shade the box from the sun, especially if it is on a wall. The box should face north or east in order to face the entrance away from the worst of the wind and rain.

Tilt the box slightly forward to keep water away from the hole.

Table manners

Nestboxes near bird tables are not a good idea. Birds trying to nest are disturbed by those that come to feed.

It is best not to feed birds during the nesting season - Natural food is better for them and their young.

For tits, the box must be no more than 30 metres away from trees where they can collect insects for their young.

Warning: Keep boxes away from places where cats can reach!

kids_nestboxesp4_nestboxes.jpg

Nestbox Hole Diameters

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Using the box

Be careful not to disturb birds using the box. A frightened bird may desert and leave its eggs or young to die. Watch from a place that does not worry the birds.

In autumn, when nesting has finished, the old nest material can be cleared out. This stops parasites such as fleas from living in the box until next year

Go to the Making Bird Feeders Project Page

Go to the An Eye for Colour Project Page

Go to the Bird Tables Project Page

Go to the Nesting Boxes Project Page

Go to the Classroom Hide Project Page

Go to the Using the Hide Project Page

Go to the Mapping Bird Activity Project Page

Go to the Mapping Song Sites Project Page

Go to the Using Song Posts Project Page

Go to the Birds & Weather (1) Project Page

Go to the Birds & Weather (2) Project Page

Go to the Birds & Weather (3) Project Page

Go to the What Birds feed on Project Page

Go to the Where Birds feed (1) Project Page

Go to the Where Birds feed (2) Project Page

Go to the How Birds find food Project Page

Go to the When are Birds present Project Page

Go to the Preening Project Page

Go to the Teacher's Notes Page

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