Trevor Bartlett's guide to siting nesting boxes

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 10 June 2010

It s very difficult to put any hard and fast ruling on where to site boxes. Obviously you want to face them away from direct winds and strong sunlight.

It's very difficult to put any hard and fast ruling on where to site boxes. Obviously you want to face them away from direct winds and strong sunlight. This is not always possible in a small garden where tree and wall sites may be limited. It's very much a case of using common sense and fixing them high enough so that the local cats won't get at them. Another point to bear in mind if you are fixing them in trees is to keep them away from branches. Don't fix them to the main trunk where there is a branch directly under the box. This makes a very neat perch for the local woodpecker to await the young poking their heads out of the box. It will also provide squirrels with a handy platform from where they can happily chew their way into the box. Having said all that I have a large number of boxes fitted in the wood - they were fitted in the position that I could rest the ladder against the tree best, and all are used every year. One precautionary measure that can be taken against woodpeckers attacking boxes is to fix a metal plate around the entrance hole to the box. This prevents them from enlarging the hole and pulling the young fledglings out for their lunch! Anyone thinking of fitting a nest box this year - do it now or better still would have been yesterday! Many bird have already started to investigate boxes some are even nesting. I'm getting numerous reports from readers of nesting birds - blue tits, great tits and blackbirds.

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