Which Nest Box Do I Need To Attract Which Species Of Bird?

Sadly some of Ireland's most common bird populations are in decline.  This can be attributed to many green spaces disappearing to development, causing natural nesting sites to be lost.  

We have a range of nest boxes tailored for the bird species you may like to attract. Carefully assessed by our team of ornithologists, our boxes are easy to put up and have access for cleaning after breeding season.

Nest Boxes By Species

Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Marsh Tits

For these species, a nest box with a small circular hole of roughly 25 - 28mm is best. You should mount the box between 2 and 4 metres off of the ground - preferably on a wall or tree.

Ideally, face the box between North and East to avoid the wet and sun.  Tilt the box forward slightly when you hang it so that the roof can keep the rain out.

Nest Boxes For Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Marsh Tits

Great Tits, Tree Sparrows and Pied Flycatchers

These species are slightly larger than the above, so they need  a nest box with a 28mm hole, no less. You should also mount these box between 2 and 4 metres from the ground - preferably on a wall or tree.

Ideally, face the box between North and East to avoid the wet and sun.  Tilt the box forward slightly when you hang it so that the roof can keep the rain out.

Our Woodstone range is a great choice because it has a 10 year guarantee and offers extra insulation.

Nest Boxes For Great Tits, Tree Sparrow and Pied Flycatcher

House Sparrows and Nuthatches

For these species, a nest box with a 32mm hole is best. You should mount the box between 2 and 4 metres of the ground - preferably on a wall or tree. It can also be used by the smaller species above but the larger hole gives House Sparrows and Nuthatches a chance of making a home.

House Sparrows like to nest in loose colonies, so providing a terraced nest box could help you to attract them.

Ideally, face the box between North and East to avoid the wet and sun.  Tilt the box forward slightly when you hang it so that the roof can keep the rain out.

Nest Boxes For House Sparrows and Nuthatches

Robins  and Wrens

For these species, you need an open fronted nest box and it needs to be hung lower - 1-2 metres is best. They also like it to be amongst some natural cover but the flight path cannot be blocked.

Ideally, face the box between North and East to avoid the wet and sun.  Tilt the box forward slightly when you hang it so that the roof can keep the rain out.

Nest Boxes For Robins and Wrens

Starlings

For Starlings, you need a nest box with a 45mm hole. You should mount the box at least 3m off of the ground - preferably on a wall or tree.

Ideally, face the box between North and East to avoid the wet and sun.  Tilt the box forward slightly when you hang it so that the roof can keep the rain out.

Nest Boxes For Starlings

House Martins

House Martins are quite unique and build nests in the eaves of buildings - often in colinies averaging 5 nests. Therefore you need a specific nest box that can be mounted at the top of the wall just under the roof.

We have a range of house-martin nest boxes - the more you mount the higher the chance if a colony nesting!

Nest Boxes For House Martins

Swifts and Swallows

A lack of suitable nesting sites is the main reason for the decline in Swift populations. Our Woodstone Swift Nest Box cam be mounted on a wall or built into it - but it must be at least 5 metres off the ground with a clear flight path. Do not face it South.

Swallows are also struggling from a lack of nesting sites. Our bespoke Nest Box should be sited within an enclosed area such as a porch or outbuilding. The birds need easy access via an open door or window. We suggest a minimum distance of 1 metre between nests and at least 6cm of free space above it.

Nest Boxes For Swifts and Swallows

Woodpeckers 

Woodpeckers like to enlarge the hole of a nest to make it suitable for them - this nest box has been designed to give them the chance to do this. It should be sited at a height of 2-3 metres from the ground and you can also line the box with a layer of forest soil or peat.

This nest box can be mounted on a tree or one the wall of  a building.

Woodpecker nest box

Malmo Woodpecker Nest Box

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will my nest box be used straight away?

    Although you may want to see your new nest box used immediately, this is actually quite rare.

    Birds like to 'check them out' first to become accustomed to them and to ensure that they are suitable. Don't give up though as the sight of newly fledged chicks is well worth the wait! Nest boxes erected before the breeding season begins (February) are therefore more likely to be used.

  • How long does a nest box last?

    How long a nest box will last depends on the material it is made of and what treatment it has undergone. We give 10 years warranty on our WoodStone nest boxes. These nest boxes are made of a mixture of wood fibre and concrete. Besides the fact that this material is weather-resistant, it also has an insulating effect. As a result, there are fewer temperature fluctuations in the nest box and this increases the hatching result.

    All our wooden nest boxes are made of at least 18mm thick wood. Then they are finished with a paint or varnish layer in order to limit weathering. We also have a series of nest boxes with burned wood. In addition to the decorative effect of this thermal treatment, there is also a chemical change in the structure of the wood, which increases the durability.
  • Does the colour of my nest box matter?

    Although birds recognise colours, the colour of the nest box does not matter. However, birds prefer a breeding place that is as natural as possible. They do this in order not to be noticed by predators.

  • How often should I clean my nest box?

    Cleaning the boxes out at the end of each breeding season will encourage them to be used again in future years. As the nesting time of birds varies from species to species we suggest you wait until October when the last of the birds will have left. The nest may come out easily but if there are any deposits scrape them out, minding the dust as you go. We recommend using hot water rather than chemicals to remove any parasites that remain. As a final word of caution, take care when opening your nest box as other species such as bats, wasps and bumblebees may have started to use the nest!

Want to get involved but don't know where to start? If you prefer watching videos, then watch the below from Ireland's Wildlife enthusiast, Calvin Jones for helpful tips and advice. Calvin is a keen birder and author and is based on the stunning south coast of Ireland. 

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