Encourage birds into your garden and watch the magic of them nesting with your own handmade nesting box. They are simple to put together and offer an easy way to entice birds into your garden. It’s also a great project to do with children; they are fun to make and also help to teach them about the importance of looking after the wildlife in your garden.
Use offcuts of your Millboard project to create a stylish yet durable box that your garden birds can enjoy for many years to come. Millboard offcuts make the perfect material; it won’t rot or warp and provides insulation for the young birds, as well as being waterproof.
Don’t worry too much about measurements – simply use the offcuts you have available.
You will need:
- Six panels, approximately 150cm wide, one with a hole in to create the entrance
- Piece of rubber for the hinge
- Galvanised nails
How to make
- Think about the construction of the box. The measurements of the back panel should encapsulate the sides, roof and bottom. Label each panel before you begin to avoid any mishaps!
- Cut two panels with a 45-degree angle – this is to support the roof and allow rainwater to run off it. Alternatively, create a pitched roof by cutting the front and back panels with a pitch
- Nail the two side panels to the back
- Nail the front and the bottom panel to the sides
- Create a hinge to the roof with the rubber. This will make for easy cleaning when summer is over, and will ensure rainwater does not trickle into the nesting box
That’s it! Thanks to the unique composition of Millboard, you don’t need to worry about treating your birdbox with stains to preserve it, nor is there any need to felt the roof.
For detailed instructions, click here to visit the The Wildlife Trusts how-to guide.
Hints and tips:
- Ideally the interior of the nesting box should be at least 100mm
- The key to ensuring your nesting box gets used is to get the opening hole the right size – too small and the birds won’t enter it, too large and predators will be able to take a swipe. Most common is 25mm for blue tits, 28mm for great tits and 32mm for nuthatches and sparrows
- To avoid young birds falling out, ensure the opening hole is 125mm off the floor of the box. This will also help to avoid predators scooping the birds out
Where to place your birdbox
- Pick a spot that will be difficult for predators to access. At least 2.5 meters above the ground is a good starting point, on a tree or attached to a wall for example
- Choose a shady spot, out of the midday sun. Between north and east is best.
- Ensure a clear flight path to the box
- Make sure you birdbox is attached securely to avoid it falling to the floor