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
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.
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
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.
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
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.