It might seem to be a strange time to be thinking about bird boxes, but September is the season in which many of our resident birds slowly begin the process of looking for nest sites for next year. Therefore, it is a really good idea to get as many new boxes up as you can, before the end of the autumn season, as it will make it more likely for boxes to be used next spring.
– For most species, place a box so that it is facing east, southeast or possibly even south, to keep it out of the prevailing wind and rain. This will ensure that the box stays reasonably warm which will help with the hatching rates.
– Avoid placing boxes immediately next to busy footpaths or roads and if you have family pets (cats or dogs) hide boxes away from areas that they frequently use.
– Sightlines are important too; make sure that there are branches nearby that the bird can land on before going into the box. This will save energy when feeding young birds and when teaching the young to fly.
– Boxes should be put up just above head height (5’10’’ to 6’5’’). This will reduce the risk of predators attempting to access the boxes.
-Consider buying a metal plate around the entrance hole which will also prevent predation from species like great spotted woodpeckers.
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