When & Where to Put Up Your Bird Box

Put your nestbox up well before the start of the breeding season, as many birds begin searching out nest sites from February onwards. Don't be too disappointed if the box isn’t used for the first year or two.

Ideally it should be located at least 2m from the ground (preferably 3-5m) to ensure that cats and curious people can't disturb it or look inside. Affix it to a wall, fence or tree trunk in a quiet area, away from your bird table if possible. It is best to angle the box forward slightly and to keep it away from the wall or tree by using a strip of wood. Unless the site is very sheltered, the box should be fixed facing between north and south-east to avoid the hot sun and the wettest winds.

In all but the largest gardens only one box of each type is likely to be used, perhaps one by tits and one by Robins. On the other hand, two nestboxes quite close together are sometimes occupied at the same time if they are both at the edge of a territory.

Source Garden Bird Detectives Exhibition courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland

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