How to Put Up a Nest Box
There’s no better way to attract birds to your garden than providing them a cosy home to nest in. But birds can be a little picky about the residence they choose. Many a nest box sits empty year after year. Brush up on exactly how to put up a nest box to maximise your chances of garden birds making it their home:
When to Put Up a Nest Box
Autumn is the best time to install your nest box. Many birds will scout out potential nesting locations throughout autumn and winter before settling in the following spring. With a nest box up and ready, birds can also use the space as shelter during bad weather.
Where to Put a Nest Box
Where you choose to put your nest box will depend upon the kinds of birds you wish to attract. House sparrows and starlings like to nest under the eaves. Robins and wrens like a nest box placed under two metres high and well hidden by foliage. Woodpecker boxes should be placed three to five metres up a tree trunk.
Wherever you put your nest box, make sure there are no obstructions to the flight path. You should also protect your nest box from weather extremes. Face it to the north or east to avoid strong sunlight and slant it down slightly so that heavy rain is less likely to make its way inside.
How To Protect Your Box from Predators
Predators are a common problem. Don’t use nest boxes with a built in perch as these can provide a handy ledge for unwanted guests. A bird feeder is another temptation that can attract predators. Put your feeder at a distance from the nesting box. This way, you can also help to prevent noisy eaters from disturbing nesting birds.
Maintaining a Nest Box
Cleaning your nest box is an annual job. Nests are the perfect habitat for fleas and other parasites, which can infest newly hatched birds next year. In the autumn, when you’re sure that the box is empty, take it down and wash it with boiling water. Only hang it back up once it’s completely dry. You may want to put a few wood shavings or a little hay into the box. This will help to entice hibernating mammals and roosting birds throughout the colder months.
An inhabited nest box will provide you with endless birdwatching opportunities. Put it up at the right time, put in the right place and see to its maintenance each year to create the perfect home for nesters.
Tips for attracting more birds to your feeders
We have put together a few tips on how you can get a large amount of birds to come into your garden and feed just by placing the bird feeders in the right place in your garden.
Placement of your bird feeder
Placement is key, you want to be able to see the birds while they are feeding, but it's also important that they feel safe while they have their meal. Birds are creatures of habit, so if they don’t feel safe, you’re likely to never see them again after their first visit. If you have a small garden, it is best to put the feeders fairly close to your windows. This allows you to observe the birds without scaring them away. If you have a larger garden with trees or shrubs this can be a good spot to hang a feeder as the foliage gives the birds cover from wind and predators. However, don’t put the feeders too close as they are also home to squirrels that would love to munch on your bird seed and also cats can hide in the branches, waiting to pounce. We suggest 2-5 metres away from the dense leafy areas. Experiment with a few feeders dotted around the garden to find the perfect place as each garden has its own habit so results may vary.
If you have a relatively open garden without much cover for the birds, you could try creating natural shelters yourself. All you’ll need are a few loosely stacked piles of sticks and branches around your bird feeder, and you can create a great resting place for a variety of birds.
Try to be patient
It will take a while for birds to start feeding in your garden. You may see a few flying around your garden and not landing for the first few weeks; this is them checking that the new feeder is safe. You may think that you have cracked it when you see the first birds land and enjoy a meal too. However, as we said above, birds are creatures of habit, if something doesn’t feel right about the place, they will likely not come back. If you have noticed the birds feeding once and then not returning, you might want to consider moving the feeders around and finding a spot with more cover; there maybe be predators that you can’t see lurking in the undergrowth.
Birds can be quite fussy as well, so if the bird seed is too wet or keeps getting blown away by the wind, the area may feel too exposed for them. Trying moving the feeders to a slightly more covered location, even a few feet closer to the fence could be just enough to make them happy.
Once you have attracted a few birds to your feeders more are likely to come. Just be patient and try to position your feeders in key places around your garden. It’s better to have more than one feeder as you’ll be able to see which ones are more popular and then set up others in the same manner for a bird feeding extravaganza!
Boxwild "Best Buy" in Independent - Gardening Gifts for Mother's Day
We are over the moon to see that Boxwild was featured as the "Best Buy" in the Independent for Gardening Gifts for Mother's Day. You can see the article here:
How to look after your garden wildlife in January
The frost will be biting in January and, if you feed your birds, you will find your garden has many visitors. This month continue feeding the birds high energy foods- simple things to try are smearing peanut butter on a branch or a pine cone, or popping out old apples from your fruit bowl - our blackbirds in particular love them! Birds are nervous and creatures of habit so give them a week to settle in and place your apples / peanut butter treats in the same place each day so they can get familiar with your garden treats.
Break the ice on the bird baths in the morning and prevent your pond freezing over by placing a ball on the top - this will work during a light frost but in harsher weather you will need to break it with a spade / stick.
- Nikki Boxwild
- Tags: Looking after wildlife
Boxwild featured in The Telegraph & Stylist
This past month has been wonderful as Boxwild has been featured in lots of publications
Jan 2017 - Stylist featured us in their Style List
December 2016 - Gardens Illustrated featured us in their Christmas Gift List
December 2016 - Modern Gardens featured us in their Christmas Gift List
December 2016 - Veggie Magazine featured our Vegetarian Seed Box in their Christmas Gift List
December 2016 - The Mirror talked about our hand blended seed mixes
November 2016 The Telegraph featured us in their "Top Christmas Present in 2016" which you can see online: The Telegraph
November 2016 - You Magazine featured us in their Gift Guide
October 2016 - Prima.co.uk featured us in their Gift Guide for Pets
- Nikki Boxwild
How to choose gifts for bird lovers?!
Often bird lovers are the sort of people who are slightly more tricky to buy for, the parent, grandparent or in-law who has everything and says they want nothing!
We offer a range of gifts for bird lovers and those passionate about wildlife and nature.
From a Bird gift for an in-law to a thank you gift for a teacher - we have it covered!
1. Gift for a bird watcher - this is someone who is likely to be mad about birds and they will be likely to be interested in something a little different. So we would suggest the Seed Subscription Box which contains various packs of our seed blends & will offer something different which their birds won't have tried before!
2. Thank you Gift for a teacher - depending on budget, a nice bag of our Boxwild seed blend with a seed scoop tends to go down very well.
3. Gift for bird-loving in-laws - often the tough present to buy off the list! Our Bird Feeder Gift box is our most popular item and makes a thoughtful present.
4. Wildlife lover- for someone who is into all types of wildlife then our Wildlife Subscription Box is the perfect option. Each month we send a variety of bird and wildlife goodies to attract nature into the garden.
- Nikki Boxwild