As nesting season approaches, many of us will be buying or building nestboxes to put up in our gardens, to encourage birds to set up home there.
National Nestbox Week 14th – 21st February 2022.
"By putting up nestboxes, we are replacing habitat which is no longer there, replicating holes in trees, or nooks and crannies in old buildings, so it's making vital space for birds," says Helen Moffat of the RSPB. (rspb.org.uk)
"It can also provide you with some great entertainment – a chance to watch the garden soap opera of the birds' comings and goings, with hopefully some cute fledglings taking their first flights at the end of it all."
As National Nestbox Week approaches, there are things gardeners can do to prompt birds into using nestboxes, which much depends on where they are sited and the types of nestboxes we install, whether it be an open-fronted box for robins, thrushes and flycatchers, a classic type with a hole for blue tits, or a tea chest for an owl.
"The earlier you get them put up, the better. Some birds are already scouting out the best spots now," says Moffat. The main nesting season lasts from March to August.
Where should you site a nestbox?
"Think about how high you put it – boxes for tits, sparrows or starlings should be fixed 2-4 metres up a tree or a wall, while swifts should be as high as possible", Moffat advises.
"Try not to put them too close together, as most species don't like near neighbours – it can be too much competition for food. Sparrows are the exception and will happily live in close proximity to other sparrows."
Ornithologist Dan Rouse, author of "How To Attract Birds To Your Garden" (DK), says: "Set them in a north-east direction to avoid strong winds coming into the hole, and you shouldn't get too much rain in there as well. Alternatively, put them where they have some shelter, then they can face in any direction. Tilt the box slightly forward so the rain can run off the roof."
Ensure there's a clear flight in too, and that it's away from places where cats or other predators could perch and get into it, Moffat adds.
"I just thought with the dark evenings and not wanting to get too tied to the television I would become productive with wood making – and Bird Boxes seemed a good idea – my wife Jane loves hers and enjoys watching the birds going to & fro throughout spring and early summer.
I researched them on the RSPB site and realised birds are quite choosy & specific in their requirements. The holes have to be a certain diameter for individual species!! So that is what I'm doing – to raise money for the Church, keep myself occupied and provide accommodation for a different species than I do in my day work.
I've started on Bird Tables too.Furthermore all of the timber has been recovered from a site in Runcorn where it was in skips for reprocessing. So to reuse and up-cycle it makes good environmental sense! All of the driftwood is form Aberdovey and Pwllheli Beaches.
Boxes are available to buy now in Church. Special commissions also accepted!
Page last updated: 10/03/22 21:51