You can encourage birds into your garden by providing plenty of places to nest. A nestbox is an excellent substitute for a tree hole and many different species will use one. The species you attract will depend on the location, the type of box and the size of the entrance hole.
Put your box in a quiet place out of the reach of cats, generally between two and five metres up a tree, fence or wall. Try to face it between north and east, as this avoids strong sunlight and the wettest winds. Tilt the box forward slightly so that driving rain hits the roof and does not enter the box. Put different types of box in different places around the garden. For instance, put open-fronted nestboxes low down and hide them well in vegetation to attract robins and wrens.
It is important to clean out your nestboxes during the winter every year. This will prevent a build up of debris and remove parasites such as fleas. If you put in a handful of clean hay or wood shavings, birds may use it as a winter roost.
RSPB nestboxes are available from our mail order catalogue and RSPB shops. But why not make one yourself?
All our wooden nestboxes are made from wood from sustainable sources or carry the FSC logo, ie certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Sparrows and starlings are in serious decline. Putting a nestbox high in the eaves will help local populations (entrance hole 32 mm for sparrows, 45 mm for starlings and larger box).