Cleaning Nest Boxes - is this strictly necessary?

Hello - we're thinking of having an attic conversion on our house.  We currently have House Sparrows nesting under our eves and in the roof space.  This space will go when (if) we do the work.  We'd like to add some Sparrow nest boxes under the windows of the new roof space rooms (north facing).  Is this a good position? 

The second issue is that it would be very difficult to clean the boxes in this position.  Is it strictly necessary to clean boxes every autumn?  After all, we've never cleaned out the current nesting sites.

Is it simply better not to put up boxes if you can't gt to them to clean them?

Thanks in advance.

  • Hi,

    Although I have terrible trouble with sparrows interfering with house martins, I would definitely put up nest boxes for sparrows in your example (even if you do have martins as the sparrows are likely to move to those otherwise, and may well do anyway).

    Re cleaning, you are of course right. I don't clean out swift boxes or martin cups as it's not realistic. I'd end up having an accident. I didn't clean out the starling box at the previous house either. I know loads of boxes that have never been cleared out, esp those that need ladders. It is recommended to clean boxes out, but not a requirement. Birds will use them again in subsequent years.