Siting a robin or wren box

At the moment I'm considering putting an open fronted robin or wren box (with camera) in the garden. I guess the best location is probably inside dense bushes, but my options are limited.

Would a Lawson's Cypress be any good? The box would be well hidden but I'm afraid that cats, squirrels, magpies etc would still the able to access it once they have located it... These preditors are a real problem in the neighbourhood so I'm even wondering if I should consider a robin/wren box here at all! (but there are always robins around, despite of the cats). And besides that, would robins and wrens build nests in cypresses anyway?

Any input is welcome!

Check my birdbox!

  • Hi Fire fly, good question, thanks for posting!

    Your are correct in saying that dense shrubs are an ideal site, both wrens and robins will seek such cover for nest building, often quite close to the ground but sometimes around 5 or 6 feet. Conifer trees can offer suitable cover so a Lawsons cyprus might be worth a go. Any prickly shrubs would also be worth considering if you have them, holly, pyracantha, hawthorn and berberris offer good protection.

    Another idea would be to find an alcove or even an outbuilding, robins and wrens regularly make use of the shelter provided by our buildings and the structures can offer a good predator barrier.

    Hope this helps!

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • In reply to IanH:

    Hi IanH, thanks for your answer!

    Unfortunately I have no suitable prickly shrubs, otherwise that would have been my first choice. My main worry with the Lawsons cyprus is that it doesn't offer enough defense against preditors. The Lawson cyprus looks very dense from the outside (so the nest will be quite well hidden) but inside there is actually a lot of open space. I was wondering if robins and wrens will be put off by this?

    If that is not the case, I can perhaps build some defenses putting chicken wire in front of the opening or something like that...

    Check my birdbox!

  • In reply to FireFly:

    Some birds do rely on the out of sight out of mind approach to nest site location so it may work. However, if you feel that this isn't going to be enough to protect them in your garden then you could try putting a wire cage around your nesting box or even adapt a couple of hanging basket frames to provide an extra level of protection. Just make sure that the target species for the nest can get in and out easily!

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • In reply to IanH:

    Three years ago [Spring] we had a pair of Robins build, lay 4 eggs and hatch them and they all fledged, despite having frequent cats around the neighbourhood, I had sited the box among a rose bush as well as Ajuca The box was 3' 6" above ground, and faced west

    We have a compost heap and plenty of bird feeders some 35' away

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/16304936@N06/

    http://suffolk.activeboard.com/f528553/birds-of-suffolk/

  • In reply to John Cooper:

    John Cooper, that nestbox appears to be quite in the open. Is that true? So lots of shrubs around but the box itself was not really hidden? It looks also very easy to access for preditors but apparently it worked fine.

    Check my birdbox!

  • In reply to FireFly:

    nice Robin picture John.

    Hi Firefly.

    I had wrens build in a box on the front of my shed for about 3 years, and the box was at the side of the door, robins nested under the apex where I just nailed a little shelf up with a front on it.

    Just a thing about the camera, if its on the inside of the box a wren builds a dome shaped nest and would cover the lense,

    The box the wrens chose had a larger than normal hole at the front,it was in the shape of a house, and when the birds occupied it I wrote HOUSE WRENTED over the entrance

     Ray

          

             a good laugh is better than a tonic

  • In reply to IanH:

    What a brilliant idea about the hanging baskets - I have several not in use and as we have 2 cats the sites that I thought were too accessable could now be used with these as added protection

  • In reply to Barnsley lad:

    Not particularly well hidden Firefly but for photographc purposes I tied some branches back, but haven't had any bird nesting in it since

    Ray

    House WRENted, nice one LOL :-)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/16304936@N06/

    http://suffolk.activeboard.com/f528553/birds-of-suffolk/