To celebrate National Nest Box Week we want you to make it your mission to give a little helping hand to our special garden birds, as many species are facing habitat loss and are in need of a new home in your garden. For example, although it is thought that the decline in house sparrow numbers has levelled off, it appears their population across the UK has fallen from about 12 million pairs in the 1970s to between six and seven million pairs today, so if you have some love left over from Valentine’s Day, show it for the feathered visitors to your garden because, just like us, all they want is to find a happy home.
So, if you have a pile of wood that has been waiting in the garage for a purpose, have kids itching to do something ‘hands on’ while off school this half term, then why not grab your gloves and tools and make a bird box of your own, here is how:
When you have finished the box and it’s ready for residents, make sure to place it somewhere quiet, where there will be minimal disturbance. It’s important to place it out of reach of cats, generally between two and five metres above the ground and not next to another nest box – lessens the likelihood of neighbourhood squabbles. Try to face it so it avoids strong sunlight, and tilt the box forward slightly so that any rain runs off the roof. It is never too early to put up a nest box - if you put it in your garden in the latter half of February it has a good chance of attracting nesting birds – particularly if you hang some feeders up nearby.
Now all that is left to do is be patient. Some nest boxes are discovered and taken up immediately, whereas other boxes can be left for longer while the new home is given the once over. We’d love to see pictures of your homemade nest boxes, so please send them to our Twitter Page. Happy Nest Box Week all!