It's Time To Put Up Your Nest Box!
Sadly some of Ireland's most common bird populations are in decline. This can be attributed to many green spaces disappearing to development, causing natural nesting sites to be lost. This means that our much loved garden birds will be struggling to find nesting sites to lay their eggs this spring. So with your help this month, we're on a mission to give 1000 nesting pairs a home!
Have a look around your garden and see where you could site a nest box for our feathered friends. Offer them a safe place to breed with a reliable food supply, this will encourage them to stay in your garden so you'll get to watch first hand as the nesting families begin to thrive.
It'll also give you a wonderful connection to nature knowing you're helping to make a difference - that's amazing!
Want to get involved but don't know where to start? Watch our video from Ireland's Wildlife enthusiast, Calvin Jones for helpful tips and advice. Calvin is a keen birder and author and is based on the stunning south coast of Ireland.
We have a range of nest boxes tailored for the bird species you may like to attract. Carefully assessed by our team of ornithologists, our boxes are easy to put up and have access for cleaning after breeding season.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Where should I site my nest box?
The best height for your nest box is widely accepted as being between 1.5m and 5.5m high (5ft - 18ft respectively). However, if your area has a particularly high cat population it is best to site your box even higher.
If you only have an exposed site to offer, face the box somewhere between north through east to southeast, avoiding prevailing winds and strong sunlight. If siting in woodland, the dry side of the tree trunk offers the most protection. By their nature, open nest boxes require more cover; siting them near to climbing plants where they can be partially obscured is ideal. Siting your nest box near vegetation also aids young birds taking their first flights as it gives them both physical support and good cover.
A clear flight path into the box works best and avoid sites such as the top of fences that make it easier for predators to get at the box.
- Will my nest box be used straight away?
Although you may want to see your new nest box used immediately, this is actually quite rare.
Birds like to 'check them out' first to become accustomed to them and to ensure that they are suitable. Don't give up though as the sight of newly fledged chicks is well worth the wait! Nest boxes erected before the breeding season begins (February) are therefore more likely to be used.
- How long does a nest box last?
How long a nest box will last depends on the material it is made of and what treatment it has undergone. We give 10 years warranty on our WoodStone nest boxes. These nest boxes are made of a mixture of wood fibre and concrete. Besides the fact that this material is weather-resistant, it also has an insulating effect. As a result, there are fewer temperature fluctuations in the nest box and this increases the hatching result.All our wooden nest boxes are made of at least 18mm thick wood. Then they are finished with a paint or varnish layer in order to limit weathering. We also have a series of nest boxes with burned wood. In addition to the decorative effect of this thermal treatment, there is also a chemical change in the structure of the wood, which increases the durability.
- Does the colour of my nest box matter?
Although birds recognise colours, the colour of the nest box does not matter. However, birds prefer a breeding place that is as natural as possible. They do this in order not to be noticed by predators.
- How often should I clean my nest box?
Cleaning the boxes out at the end of each breeding season will encourage them to be used again in future years. As the nesting time of birds varies from species to species we suggest you wait until October when the last of the birds will have left. The nest may come out easily but if there are any deposits scrape them out, minding the dust as you go. We recommend using hot water rather than chemicals to remove any parasites that remain. As a final word of caution, take care when opening your nest box as other species such as bats, wasps and bumblebees may have started to use the nest!
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On our webcams you will be able to see a selection of our products being used and a range of our food being offered, giving you the chance to really see how the CJ Wildlife range works.View our latest Webcams