At this time of year, millions of birds across the country will be house hunting, ready to set up home and raise a family in the spring. So if you’ve never built a nest box before, why not give it a go this weekend - after all, it is National Nest Box Week!

There’s a bewildering array of different nest box designs out there, so how do you know which one to choose? Well, this really depends on what species of bird you want to attract.

Read our online guide and you'll find out everything you need to know about what nest box to choose and how to make one, as well as where to site it.

Great tit photo by gynti_46 (

If you fancy having a go at making a box yourself, but think you might need someone on hand to help, why not pop along to one of our reserves this weekend and take part in a National Nest Box Week event – there are lots taking place up and down the country.

If your carpentry skills aren’t up to much, never fear, we’re offering 10% off all ready-made nest boxes from our online shop until 22 February and a FREE nest box if you become a member before 31 March – so there’s never been a better time to help your garden birds set up home.

Not only will you be making a real difference to garden birds by providing a safe place for them to rear their young, putting up a nest box means you’ll also be able to see birds up close and get a really great insight into their lives.

If you see any odd behaviour or peculiar goings on in your new nest box, let us know - we’d love to hear your stories and might just have the answer!

  • I made 3 tripple nest boxes last year but only one two of the nine nest boxes were used. One by a tree sparrow and one by a great/blue tit. moved one of the boxes this year so hoping for better results. have about 20 boxes and feeders scattered all over the garden. Wish i could get a remote camera into one of the boxes. Don't have the skill. We sit in our upstairs conservatory and watch the birds every day. wonderful entertainment from nature.  

  • i put 4 nest boxes around my garden 2 years ago none have been used i give tem free board and lodging plenty of oter food water mealworms nuts wot am i doing wrong

  • I purchased a box from the RSPB online shop as my next door neighbour had a robins nest very close to my fence last year.   I am delighted to report that a robin has been busy building a nest, I wonder if it was the RSPB logo on the box that attracted her?

  • Just a note to say that yesterday I finished putting up 7 bird boxes along the  river walk I'm making.

    I did put the first four up during the winter but they take a little time and effort to make, so the last three are going up a little late for this year. Nonetheless, no sooner had I got some of them up and taken the ladder down, the blue tits were exploring them. This does not mean they will necessarily nest in them this year but they may well use them as a roosting site  on these cold  spring nights.

    Bird box example can be seen on :

    These bird boxes are made of  recycled plastic sewer pipes with wooden tops and bottoms. (if I can't find enough plastic lids -as in the example) I also put some fabric wadding in the bottom just to start them off!

    I opted for this hard plastic-type box because during last season all my wooden boxes were broken into and the young chicks were taken.

    We think the 'vandals' were woodpeckers because of the type of damage that was done, but it is possible that it could have been either rats or squirrels.  Either way I feel that these new, stronger style, slippery boxes stand a better chance of keeping the predators at bay.

    The example box is painted green but for the most part I just leave them in their natural colour which is the light brown that can just be see in the back of the entrance hole.   Because the surface of the box is slippery I screw a perch at the entrance. However, this is not really necessary as most of the birds that are likely to nest in these boxes are quite agile enough to land on the entrance without a perch.

    My thinking is that you can never have too many nest boxes because the doormice and other critters also use them if they are available.

  • Last year a pair of blue tits made a nest in the tit box.   I then noticed that they abandoned it and made a nest in the sparrow box nearby in which they raised a brood.  When I looked in the tit box there was a perfect unused complete nest.