At Archway Homes, we give all our homeowners a bird box and bug hotel as part of their handover gift. As nesting season approaches, many of us will be buying or building nest boxes to put up in our gardens, to encourage birds to set up home there. With bird nesting week running this week, we thought we would share some handy tips on where to locate your bird box.

Putting up nest boxes for the birds, replaces a habitat which is no longer there, such as replicating a hole in a tree or a nook in an old building.

The earlier you put up a bird box the better.  The main nesting season lasts from March until August, with many birds searching for nesting sites now.

There are things we can do to prompt birds into using nest boxes, which much depends on where they are sited and the types of nest box we install, whether it be an open-fronted box for robins, thrushes and flycatchers, a classic type with a hole for blue tits, or a tea chest for an owl.

Where should you site a nest box?

Boxes for tits, sparrows or starlings should be fixed 2-4 metres up a tree or wall, while swifts should be as high as possible. Boxes should ideally be placed in a northeast direction to avoid strong winds and rain coming into the hole. Tilt the box slightly forward so the rain can run off the roof. Ensure that there is a clear flight path and out of the way from where predators could perch and get into it.

Robins in particular love boxes on a shed or hidden in some ivy, anything which has extra camouflage.  You can even put them on a garden wall, a fence, your house or a balcony if you tuck them inside a north or east facing wall.

It's also important if you already have boxes in your garden to make sure they're clean at the start of the nesting season, and ready for their next inhabitant.

Bird nesting week runs from February the 14th to the 21st.