How to make a nest box

What do I need to know before I make a nest box?

  • Choose the right design depending on the species of bird you want to attract.
  • The nest box plan we provide here could attract tits, nuthatches, tree creepers, wrens, some species of flycatchers, redstarts, wrynecks, starlings and tree sparrows – depending on the diameter of the entrance hole.
  • Use the plan to make the nest box.
How to make a nest box

Tips for making the nest box:

  1. Use wood. Choose a board of the exact width to make things easier. The board should be about 2 cm thick.It is not recommended to treat or varnish the wood.

2. Cut the nest box elements with a handsaw or an electric saw.

3. Sand the elements with sandpaper.

How to make a nest box
How to make a nest box

4. Make sure the elements fit together tightly, without any gaps.

5. Use screws or nails, 4–5 cm long, to bring the elements together.

6. Make the entrance hole on the front wall of the nest box with a drill and a hole saw bit; if you don’t have a hole saw bit, draw a circle of the desired diameter and drill holes along its periphery.

7. The entrance hole should be close to the upper end of the front wall. This way the nest box will be deeper and the nest inside will be better protected.

8. Do not fit a perch at the entrance hole, as it invites predators.

Where and how to place the nest box?

Place the nest box on a tree or a wall at a height of 2 to 5 m from the ground. You can fix the nest box to the tree trunk in two ways:

  • ‘tree-friendly’ way (recommended): use metal wire and pliers. Do not forget to put cloth, rubber or wooden padding between the wire and the bark of the tree to avoid the wire cutting into the bark as the tree grows.
  • Fix the nest box with nails or screws.

Choose the location of your nest box carefully.

How to make a nest box
How to make a nest box

Species of birds that could use the nest box depending on the diameter of the entrance hole:

  • 2.8–3.2 cm: tits, nuthatches, house and tree sparrows;
  • 3.2 cm: tree creepers;
  • 3–3.2 cm: flycatchers (collared and semicollared);
  • 3.5–5 cm: wrynecks;
  • 4–5 cm: redstarts;
  • More than 4.5 cm: starlings;
  • 5 cm: wrens.