Swallow Box Crashers


A few years ago I had a swallow box fitted high up on my house wall by a local swallow society (we have a lot coming to visit in the summer). For the last two years, a great tit has built its nest in the box, however because the box is designed for swallows, the hole is flush with the base, resulting in the fledgling tits falling out before they're ready to fly.

This has happened yet again this year. Does anybody have any suggestions how to either prevent the tits nesting in the first place, or from falling out? (Getting up to the box may prove tricky as it is next to tithe roof line...)

  • Hi,

    I don't understand this. Artificial swallow nests are cup shaped. Swallows also don't usually nest high up, next to the roof line. House martins do, but their 'nest boxes' are almost enclosed cup shape. Your description sounds more like a swift nest box? If so, there is no way of stopping other species falling out at the nestling/fledgling stage. If a swift box, best to block the hole until first week of May so most other species won't choose it as a nest site.

    Definitely worth a photo if you believe it's a swallow nest.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Oops! I've got a feeling you may be right-swifts rather than swallows. It seems such a long time a go that it was put up (pre covid).. It's a good idea to block the hole (a bit late for this year). I just need to persuade my husband to climb a ladder! Thanks for advice.
  • In reply to NicholaJane:

    No probs. I wrote my post in the comfort of knowing our swift boxes are readily accessible from the garage roof. Having said that, no matter how often we block them up, they're taken over by sparrows and bees. No idea how sparrows get the wooden chunks out of the entrance as I can wedge them in. If you are able to get up the ladder one way or another, definitely worth doing a more reliable job than mine! Hopefully it's easy enough to do that, and then to unblock it in early May so swifts have a chance to use it.