We know that many of you like to attract nesting birds to your gardens to help eliminate garden pests as well as to enjoy the sight and sound of birds in the garden. One of the best ways to encourage birds into the garden is to give them food, water and shelter, and it is the shelter bit that we are going to help with here.
Building your Bird Box
DIY Doctor’s project section has plenty of advice on using tools and building jobs ranging from basic to expert, including how to build a bird house which gives you a nesting box template, and explains how to build it. Once you have mastered the basic DIY skills required, you can go on to create your own bird house designs by altering our bird house plans to create your own template. Then by adding recycled materials to your design you can really give your bird box some individual style.
For instance you might add a roof tile or roof slate to the top, or add wooden shingles or split logs to the outside to give it a more rustic appeal. You could even make a metal bird house by coating a wooden one with cooper or zinc sheets, or you can hang an old watering can in the trees to encourage species such as blackbirds, robins or wrens to nest. Just remember to point the spout downwards to allow any driving rain to drain out of the nest.
Siting a Nestbox
Once you have made it you then need to give some thought to where to site your bird house in the garden. You should place it in a sheltered spot facing away from the prevailing wind, and high enough to discourage predating cats and wildlife. For further information on siting a nesting box, and what height to place the bird box to attract each bird species you can visit the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) website.
The RSPB recommend that you site your nest boxes by the autumn to give you the best chance of attracting nesting birds, so you have all summer to design and create your own fantastic bird house (or bird castle, or even bird village!) before you need to fix it to the tree or fence, ready for broody birds to investigate and build their nest.
Birds like gardens with a varied selection of plants, shrubs and trees. This ensures they have places to roost, branches to sing from, and provides food and shelter for adult birds and fledglings. For more information you can check out our new gardening project dedicated to perfect bird garden ideas, to ensure you attract the widest range of bird species to your garden which in turn makes it more likely that your new bird house will be occupied in the Spring.
Happy bird gardening!
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