National Nest Box Week

What is National Nest Box Week?

National Nest Box Week (NNBW), organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), is spreading the word this February, encouraging the general public to put up nest boxes and make more homes for birds.

With Spring coming along, people are getting back out into their gardens, clearing the shrubs and the ‘mess’ (and all the bird nests!). Putting up a nest box in anticipation of the breeding season will also help encourage birds into your garden.

Where can I buy a nest box?

Nest boxes are available from local garden centres, charity shops, outdoors shops, some general supermarkets, and even the 99p store:

99p Store nest boxes

99p Store nest boxes

What birds can I get into my box?

Nest boxes come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the kinds of birds you are looking to attract. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust recommends the following hole sizes for particular species:

Blue Tit – 25mm
Marsh Tit – 25mm
Coal Tit – 25mm
Nuthatch – 32mm
Great Tit – 28mm
Tree Sparrow – 32mm

How can I attract birds into my nest box?

Birds prefer ‘weathered’ boxes, so the sooner you put it up, the sooner the birds will discover it. Do not put food or nesting materials into your nest box – birds don’t like the idea of competitors being attracted to their home!

You can set up a bird feeder on the other side of the garden or the opposite side of your house, and fill it with protein rich feeds like peanuts and mealworms, also available at your local garden centre or pet shop. During the winter, birds need protein rich, fatty substances to maintain high energy – a good bird ‘suet’ recipe can be found on this website.

By Mike's Birds [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mike’s Birds [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

More information can be found here, as well as all over the internet! Keep the BTO update by tweeting any new sightings of residents in your nest box: #homesfornature and the RSPB at @Natures_Voice .