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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Browse this section to find answers to all the questions you may have regarding our bird boxes.

Why are the bird boxes brightly coloured?
What sort of birds can I expect to nest in my bird box?
Where should I site my bird box?
How do I fix the bird box in place?
How many bird boxes can I have in my garden?
What should I do to maintain my bird box?
Why is it important to put nesting sites in my garden?
Why are the bird boxes brightly coloured?

Birds most certainly do see colours — think how the male birds display their colourful plumage. If the females were all colour blind, this wouldn't be an effective way of attracting a mate. Clearly male birds think colour is important to the females.

Recent research at Bristol University has shown that birds see colours in the same way that bees do — with four cones, as opposed to the 3 in the human eye, their response to colour is greater than ours. So nest boxes with boring old brown or similar camouflage colour schemes are not particularly what your garden birds will be seeking out for their accommodation.

On asking the RSPB for an opinion they mentioned that bright colours would be likely to attract insects — then on reflection they said that this would probably be another plus point. Fresh meals delivered to the door are not going to be a cause for complaint from your bird tenants.

What sort of birds can I expect to nest in my bird box?

When I put my first brightly coloured nesting box in the garden last February, I wondered if I would attract any wild birds. It came as a great surprise and delight to find a Blue Tit checking in within 3 days! You can also expect robins, wrens, tree sparrows, house sparrows, flycatchers, nuthatches, even lesser spotted woodpeckers.

Where should I site my bird box?

Whether fixed to a wall or tree, height is not critical so long as the nesting box is clear of inquisitive humans and cats. If there is no natural shelter it is best to mount a nest box facing somewhere between southeast and north, to avoid direct sunlight and the heaviest rain.

How do I fix the bird box in place?

Some authorities recommend nails to attach the box directly to a tree trunk; others prefer the use of string or wire around the trunk or branch. Both methods are OK but it may be easier to take the box down for cleaning if it is tied rather than nailed in place.

How many bird boxes can I have in my garden?

The number of boxes that can be placed in a garden depends on the species you wish to attract. Many species are fiercely territorial, e.g. Blue Tits and Robins will not tolerate another pair close by, while Tree Sparrows are colonial nesters and will happily nest alongside each other.?

What should I do to maintain my bird box?

During October or November all nest boxes should be taken down, the old nesting material removed and the box scolded with boiling water to kill any parasites. Do not use insecticides or flea powders.

Why is it important to put nesting sites in my garden?


People often ask the question:"Do bird nesting boxes in gardens really serve any useful purpose other than giving pleasure to us humans?"

The answer is definitely YES! Gardens are a most important wild bird habitat. The total area of all gardens in Britain exceeds that of all nature reserves. As modern lifestyles destroy trees, hedges and old buildings, natural nesting sites are in decline. Nestboxes placed in gardens can make a real difference to the success or failure of a breeding species in a given area, especially when accompanied by a regular supply of food and water.