Sparrow 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.
Nestboxes

Sparrow nest box

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Hallo. My bird-corner is in a balcony. Almost 12 years ago, I put a nest box on the most repaired wall. Nobody ever visited it and I was starting to consider it as a relic. But today I saw a straw hanging from the hole so I started observing it attentively. A female sparrow is building her nest inside of it, she is very much busy. I see she is a young female, maybe at her first experience. Now, I read that sparrows can have up to 4 broods per season. Moreover, I also read that during winter the couple still uses the nest as a night shelter, while the youngsters sleep on trees. At the same time I read that I should clean the nest box when the nestlings have left it definitely. The question is: shall I clean it after each brood or at the end of the season, say in late Autumn? And, if and when I have cleaned it, will the sparrow couple still use it in winter, without any straw and so on inside of it? I forgot to specify that I am in South Sardinia, so I am talking about Sardinian Sparrows (Passer hispaniolensis). Any suggestion? Thanks.
Verified Answer
  • Hi Tiziana

    Greetings from Sheffield in Yorkshire.

    I'm glad to hear you have finally got a visitor to your nest box, over here we tend to clean our bird boxes from the end of September when the birds have stopped nesting.

    People that have cameras in their boxes have seen Blue Tits and Wrens sleeping in them over winter without any straw in them, but once cleaned out there is nothing to stop the birds putting bedding in themselves for winter time.

  • Hello Tiziana, welcome from me up at the very top of Scotland, in Caithness. Lovely that you have the sparrows nesting, you will have fun following the goings on.

All Replies
  • Hi Tiziana

    Greetings from Sheffield in Yorkshire.

    I'm glad to hear you have finally got a visitor to your nest box, over here we tend to clean our bird boxes from the end of September when the birds have stopped nesting.

    People that have cameras in their boxes have seen Blue Tits and Wrens sleeping in them over winter without any straw in them, but once cleaned out there is nothing to stop the birds putting bedding in themselves for winter time.

  • Thanks Alan. The end of September here will be too early I am afraid. It is still very hot in fact and broods could be delayed somehow. Beginning of November will be the right time, and I will follow your advice. If the couple will decide to sleep there during winter,  it means  that they will take some blanket in by themselves. :-)

  • Hello Tiziana, welcome from me up at the very top of Scotland, in Caithness. Lovely that you have the sparrows nesting, you will have fun following the goings on.