Bird nest boxes are available in a variety of sizes and styles, depending on the species and amount of birds that you want to attract to your garden.
Bird nest boxes with a small opening are ideal for blue tits, great tits and tree sparrows, whereas species such as the house sparrow and starling require a slightly larger entrance to accommodate their size.
Terraced bird boxes are ideal if you want to house multiple birds. However, the placement of bird nest boxes is important to consider, as certain species of bird - such as sparrows - will occasionally attempt to take over pre-inhabited nest boxes. Allowing plenty of space between boxes and hanging them at varying heights should help to prevent this.
It is essential that nest boxes are fixed securely to a stable surface, to avoid any falls or damage. Placing bird nest boxes at a reasonable height, above thorny plants such as roses or gorse will help to deter predators such as cats and squirrels. Birds are more likely to be attracted to nest boxes when there is a steady supply of food nearby - bird feeders are perfect for this.
Nest boxes must be disinfected when not in use, as they can be prone to harbouring parasites and fleas. Maintain your bird nest box by removing nests that are no longer in use (usually in the autumn and winter months) and sterilising it with boiling water.