You can help the birds by putting up a nest box in your garden. They come in all different shapes, styles and sizes.
When building a bird box, you need to use good quality wood as the box will be open to all weather elements. You also need to think about the species of birds you are going to try to attract to your box.
The inside of the a normal bird box should be at least 150mm square and the bottom of the entrance hole must be at least 125mm from the floor. This is to help prevent some predators. The box should be at least 3 metres (10 feet) from the ground and facing somewhere between north and east. Avoid putting your box up in areas where it will get direct sunlight and don’t put it over a doorway or well used path.
The diameter of the entrance hole will help determine which species may use your box:
- 25mm for Coal Tits, Marsh Tits and Blue Tits
- 28mm for Great Tits and Tree Sparrows
- 32mm for Nuthatches and House Sparrows
- A Starling box needs to be 25-30% larger with an entrance 45mm across
If you do not feel you can build a box yourself, there are many shops and garden centres that sell a selection of boxes already made.
There are also online suppliers that sell bird boxes with cameras in (allowing you to watch from the comfort of your own house) or cameras you can install into your own bird box.
If you are worried about Woodpeckers, Squirrels etc, then a metal face plate, around the entrance hole can help.
During the colder months some species like Blue Tits & Great Tits may use a nest box to roost in for the night.
Why not encourage the birds into your garden and help them find a home?
Photos © Ben Kirby