Where should nesting boxes be placed?

Where should nesting boxes be placed?
Where should nesting boxes be placed?
Most people already have an idea of where they want to place nesting boxes in their garden before buying them. However, there are a few things to consider before deciding where to put them. And this leads to the question – “Where should nesting boxes be placed?”. Thankfully, we have a few helpful tips that explain where it is best to place your nesting boxes so your regular visitors have an area in your garden to call home.

You should place nesting boxes away from direct sunlight and strong winds

Nesting birds love warmth, but you don’t want the parents or their chicks overheating. Therefore, we advise you should place nesting boxes in an unshaded area away from direct sunlight. And even though our Woodcrete Nest Box regulates heat within the nest, it is still better to put them in a place that won’t receive continuous sunlight throughout the day.

Placing nesting boxes in an area susceptible to strong winds will cause most birds to roost elsewhere. For this reason, it is a good idea to put nesting boxes in a location that’s sheltered from the wind. Nesting mothers prefer a quiet place to lay eggs and don’t like the added difficulty caused by the wind when flying to and from the nest.

With this in mind, you should place nesting boxes in a sheltered location facing North or East.

Ensure birds have a clear path to their nesting boxes

Birds don’t like any added challenges when returning swiftly after foraging or leaving the nest in a hurry. So make sure nothing is blocking the path to their nest entrance that could make their life harder. Clear away low-hanging branches close to the nest box entrance and remove anything they might fly into or have trouble avoiding.

Consider what height is best for the wild birds in your garden

The height at which you place a nesting box plays a vital role in whether or not your local birds will roost in your garden. It’s worth mentioning that different species prefer to nest at different heights from the ground. Some species even are fussy about how large or small the entrance hole to the nest is.

Sparrows, starlings and tits like their nesting boxes mounted between 2-4 metres from the ground, fixed to a tree or a wall. They also like their privacy. This means you are unlikely to find more than one pair of these birds nesting in your garden at the same time.

House martins, on the other hand, like their nesting boxes mounted high up under the eaves of your house roof. Likewise, house martins live in colonies in the wild, so multiple birds will happily roost close to each other. This means you can place a few nesting boxes closer together, and they will have no problems.

Robins like open-ended nesting boxes which shouldn’t be placed any higher than 2 metres from the ground.

Most UK garden bird species will roost in a nesting box 2-4 metres above the ground.

What size of nesting box entrance hole do birds prefer?

Choosing the correct nesting box to suit the birds regularly visiting your garden can be as important as where you place it. Common bird species that use nesting boxes are blue tits or coal tits, but sparrows, nuthatches, robins, woodpeckers and wrens will also use them. However, not all these species will use any size of nesting box entrance hole, and most will avoid them entirely if they are not to their liking. To make your decision easier, we have a range of nesting boxes with various entrance hole sizes, and we have listed them below to help illustrate which birds will use what nesting boxes in the UK.

  • Snoozy Bird Nest Box: This nest box is made from sustainably sourced FSC wood and has a 32mm entrance. It offers comfort, durability, and insulation for birds like blue tits, coal tits, and tree and house sparrows.
  • Cosy Bird Nest Box: Ideal for tits and sparrows with its 32mm entrance hole and handcrafted from sustainably sourced and long-lasting FSC wood to retain heat in the colder months.
  • Robin Nest Box: This nesting box is the perfect home for robins. Handcrafted in the UK, it features an open front end and a modern FSC wood construction. Importantly, it gives robins the desired visibility, comfort, and warmth.
  • Original Woodcrete Nest Box: This nesting box design features a unique woodcrete blended material that provides durability and insulation to keep birds cool in the summer and cosy in the winter. These boxes also have a 26mm or 32mm entrance hole and a lifetime guarantee.
  • Sledmere Nest Box: This nesting box is stylish and functional featuring an FSC Certified wood construction and a sloping slate roof. It has a 32mm entrance, ideal for great tits, house sparrows and tree sparrows. The slate roof also aids insulation and is easily removable for cleaning.
  • Snuggler Nest Box: This nesting box features a 32mm entrance hole and is suitable for great tits, house sparrows and tree sparrows. Its low-profile design is ideal for placing in a sheltered location, and it's easy to clean and maintain.

Coverage from Trees

Birds will naturally nest in trees, protecting them from predators while offering them plenty of sticks, twigs and other materials to help with nest building. Trees also help conceal them and provide them with a familiar and comfortable environment. For this reason, it's ideal to place nesting boxes in areas that offer generous tree coverage. But be careful no branches are blocking the flying route to the nest’s entrance.

Quiet Area of your garden

We all appreciate birds flying around our gardens while chirping, frolicking and socialising for us to enjoy! Placing nesting boxes around your garden may give a few families a place to call home but be aware when putting them too close together. We mentioned that birds like house martins like a tight-knit community and enjoy it when their nesting boxes are packed together. However, most UK garden birds prefer their private living space and like it when their nesting box is not close to others.

You may attract more than one family if you don’t place multiple nesting boxes in the same place.

The best location to place nesting boxes in your garden

Overall, if you think about where your local garden birds would benefit the most when deciding where to place nesting boxes, you will be more likely to attract a wide range of birds that will happily roost and start a family. Remember that they like a quiet place in your garden sheltered from direct sunlight and strong winds. So placing nesting boxes between 2-4 metres from the ground in a north or east-facing setting is generally ideal, and make sure nothing is blocking their entrance as they swoop in and out.

It is also worth mentioning that wild birds are more likely to frequently visit your garden when there is high-quality food on offer. For this reason, choosing the right food and quality bird feeders is essential to make feeding an enjoyable experience for you and your local birds.