Nest box

Homes for Wildlife

Homes for Wildlife
If you love the creatures in your garden, you'll love our Homes for Wildlife project. This is the place to ask and answer questions about making your backyard wildlife-friendly.

Nest box

  • Hello, Just after any advice. Last spring I had sparrows in the nest box, but since then they have kept using it ! I have been waiting for the right time to clean it out but now have blue tits using it.. Shall I leave it alone for this year, or clean it out anyway, would they be building a nest yet ? Thanks, Alison.
  • Sounds like they are roosting in it at the mo. which is not unusual for small birds to do this. Keep them warm on cold nights. I saw a nest box used by 15 Wrens one year...amazing. I think what i'd do is watch and wait as it is a bit early for tits and Sparrows to nest. Great Tits investigate bird boxes to, but may not use it. You may find you'll have an opportunity to clean it out at some point this gets rid of any parasites that could harm the chicks later on. On the reserve i help out on I clean out 40+ boxes at the end of the summer then they are ready for winter roosting and Nest building in the early spring. hope that helps?  

  • Hi Alison, I agree with Devonotter, I would find a moment when its Emily, maybe in the morning and give it a clean and pop it back. Sounds like it's definitely going to get used this year! I have popped 2 nest boxes on my shed, don't know if it's in the right location or height, but they are there if they want to use them. Good luck :)

  • I was wondering the same thing AM as, for the first time in two years, there is a BT roosting in my cambox!  The box was almost bare (had put in a tiny amount of dryer fluff to start things off) & BT hasn't added anything of it's own & just spends each night tucked up in his own poo!!  I feel it ought to be cleaned out to make it sanitary to nest in later but don't want to scare him away!  Quandary!!!  If I do decide to take it down for cleaning then I am going to ask OH if the floor can be refused as a hinged flap with a secure bolt fastening on outside to make it easier for cleaning in future!

  • AM & Wendy I am in the exact same boat as you! I put my box up start of last year and a blue tit is roosting in it, hasn't taken in any bedding etc but sleeps in box every night in its own poo... like you i don't want to startle him/her by touching box but surly having a dirty box can't be very good? and i don't want them to reject box because its dirty either...! just don't know what to do...Wanting to see a nest in it this year, as never had a nest i could watch within easy reach (via tv lol)

  • My BT last night

    Poo box today in natural light

    Gonna be difficult taking it down as cable is cleated to the wall hence why I am trying to configure a bottom let down flap type floor for easier cleaning in situ!  Maybe another cambox  already modified is the answer then I can relocate this one when cleaned up!  Must get safety metal plates to protect entrance hole!

  • Well Wendy ur blue tit looks a little dirtier than mine but he's soo cute!

    Someone said to me that they will either clean it out themselves or just make a nest on top... this right?

    I do like your idea of the bottom comming off to clean it where it is, mine doesn't have a door (i don't think?) the bit of wood that has the hole screws off, but it can't be done where it currently is lol.

    Think i'm just going to have to leave it until nesting season over then modify my box with the base opens up to empty/clean it.

  • A scruffy/pooey dear little soul he is alright LL & as it's the first one for me will have to see how it pans out!  Do have a space on NE facing wall for another box, so will order cam box & modify before putting it up & hope for a second rooster/nester!

  • I was considering puting up another box but i know blue tits can be a bit teritorial so didn't, I look forward to seeing you're wee birdies progress, Can't be very nice being in amongst its own poop? or maybe he doesn't have a gd sense of smell?

  • Hi everyone, I've just read this thread from last year as I have the same question. There hasn't really been an answer offered yet. If a bluetit is using the box to roost and also to poo, should I be cleaning it out at some stage? If so when? Hope someone can answer. Thanks in advance.

  • My experiences to date Daryl ... BT started a new nest but went away suddenly & the box was taken over by male House Sparrow who cleared out all the residual grass & poo & spent most of the Summer trying to attract a mate!  He occasionally spent nights in there but was never another nest & he eventually went off!

    Unfortunately the box was in a bad state so I replaced it with a new but identical one, since which time there are no takers!

    My cam box at front houses one live spider, one dead one & a dessicated bee!!

  • Thanks for your reply Wendy. So I guess if they want it clean they will clean it themselves? I know that last year when I put a few nest starter materials in, the first thing that they did when they decided to move in was to chuck all my bits out and bring in their own. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

  • Please keep us updated Daryl & I wish you a nest with eggs in Spring!

  • Thanks, I will :-)