Build a nesting box

Help our feathered friends by building a nesting box, it’s a simple and effective way to encourage more wildlife into your garden while helping to support them during their breeding season.

Posted on 16th January 2024

Nesting Box

When making your nesting box remember that the birds don’t mind how good your carpentry skills are or what your nest box looks like - they just want somewhere safe and warm to raise their hatchlings.

Also, you don’t have to have a specific place in your garden to put up your nest box but try to make sure it’s at least two metres off the ground, that way the hatchlings and nestlings are safe, warm and away from any predators and out of direct sunlight and the wind.

Follow this simple step-by-step guide to build your nesting box. All you’ll need is some wood that is 15 centimetres (cm) wide and 150 centimetres long, nails, a pencil and ruler, drill, hammer, sandpaper, and a saw.

Of course, if DIY isn’t your speciality you can always buy nesting boxes from garden centres but before you purchase any check that they come from a sustainable source by looking for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo.

But, if you’re willing to give it a go, here’s how you can make your nest box.

  • Sketch out how you want your nesting box to look.

  • Take your plank of wood and mark out on the timber what part of the nest box it is going to be (e.g. front panel, side panel etc.) Ideally the wood needs to 9-15 millimetres (mm) thick to give the birds the insulation they need.

  • Saw your panels apart and once you’re finished take your sandpaper and smooth down the edges.

  • Take each of your side panels and nail them to the base of your nest box. When you have done this, nail the base of the nest box onto the side panels and the back panel.

  • Before you nail the front panel on, make sure you drill a hole to make the entrance to the bird box. Remember, you’ll need a different size hole for different birds. As a rule, a 25mm hole is ideal for Blue Tits and up to 35mm is perfect for Sparrows. Also, make sure the entrance is near the top of the panel, that way it’ll stop predators from entering.

  • It’s time to add a roof and there are two ways to do this. The first is to nail the roof on but remember you won’t be able to lift it up and clean the nest box later in the year. The best way is to attach a hinge using screws. This way you can lift the lid of the nest box.

When you’ve finished your nest box it’s time to mount it in your garden. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to place it at least two metres from the ground (a fence post or a tree is ideal) and out of the wind and direct sunshine. Now all you need to do is sit back and watch our feathered friends move into their new home to raise their young.