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Building Garden Bird Nest Boxes

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Others barely notice them, others think of them as totally useless altogether. But are garden bird nest boxes really just useless additions to your yard? Not at all! Are they costly to build? Yes, they do cost money if only for the carpentry materials and the time needed to build them, but they shouldn’t leave a dent on your budget.

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Why Should You Care about Garden Bird Nest Boxes

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Passing by some plush neighborhood and seeing those garden bird nest boxes, you wonder… is their real purpose to garden nest boxes. After all, they cost money to build, and you can’t really own the wild birds that nest in them. So why should you care about building garden bird nest boxes yourself? There are plenty of reasons you should care about bird nest boxes if only to help protect the local bird population in your area. People encroached too much on the birds’ natural habitat; it’s people’s responsibility, therefore, to house them in the land they own in the first place.

Designing Garden Bird Nest Boxes

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Wild birds are not really finicky about bird nest boxes. As long as they’re the right size, safe, and properly located in your yard, expect that some bird species will rent your garden bird nest boxes. The nest boxes don’t have to be mathematically precise and posh for the wild birds to like them. However, different bird species prefer their nest boxes to be located in specific areas, and some like circular bird nest doors, others like their door to be wide and rectangular.

Material for Garden Bird Nest Boxes

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Wood makes the best material for garden bird nest boxes. A quarter of an inch thick wood is enough to protect the inhabitants from the elements: snow, sun, wind, and the occasional cat visit. If you use plywood or quality marine wood to build the nest boxes, be sure to place them under a roof. If the nest boxes will be exposed to the rain, use wood slabs as building material. Prolong the nest boxes’ life by placing roofing felt on them and applying wood preservatives like Cuprinol or Sadolin.

Other Things to Consider in Building Garden Bird Nest Boxes

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For the nest boxes to really serve their purpose, don’t forget to consider the following:

Height – Place the nest boxes high enough for predators such as cats to reach.

Orientation – Place the nest boxes in such a way that the door is facing north or south to prevent the sun from penetrating the nesters.

Distance – Place the box in such a way that it provides privacy for the nesters, unless you nest colonial birds such as sparrows.

Cleaning – Make sure to clean the box after each nesting season by taking out the old nesting material and replacing it with new one. Disinfect the box by scalding it with briskly boiling water without disinfectant chemicals.

Small-hole Bird Nest Boxes

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Bird species such as robin, wren, pied wagtail, woodpecker, spotted flycatcher, and black redstart like to nest in small-hole garden bird nest boxes. A 32 millimeters diameter hole should be enough for these bird species to use as doors.

Large-hole Bird Nest Boxes

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Bird species such as dove, jackdaw, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, and starling like to nest in large-hole bird nest boxes. A two inches diameter hole is recommended to have these bird species even consider visiting your bird nest boxes.

Colonial Bird Nest Boxes

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Like doves, sparrows are colonial nesters. They can nest in one big box that has lots of compartments for individual pairs of sparrows to call their home for the season. Sparrows can nest in a relatively big square open doors, but they like round doors better.

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