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Nest Box Plan

Standard small nestboxBuilding your own nest box is very rewarding, especially when a pair of birds later rear a family in it.

The standard "tit" box is quite straightforward to build and a plan and summary instructions are available.


  1. Cut the pieces from a plank of plywood or floorboard (10 mm thick).
  2. Nail the bottom of the side pieces to opposite side edges of the base.
  3. Nail the back piece to the longest edges of the side pieces and the back edge of the base.
  4. Nail the front piece to the shortest edges of the side pieces and to the front edge of the base.
  5. The back edge of the lid needs to fit tightly against the back piece. This can be achieved by one of the following methods:
  6. Secure the front of the lid using screws, or hooks and eyes.
  7. Drill a hole in the front piece about the same distance from the top edge as the diameter of the whole, i.e. the top of a 25 mm hole needs to be about 25 mm from the top edge.

    Box Size Hole Size Species
    Small 25 mm Blue Tits, Marsh Tits, and Coal Tits
    Small 28 mm Great Tits, Pied Flycatcher and Tree Sparrow
    Small 32 mm House Sparrows and Nuthatches
    Medium 45 mm Starling

    Drill four small (3 to 5 mm diameter) drainage holes in the base, one in each corner.

  8. Using nails, screws, or wire fit the nest box to a wall, tree, or fence. The nest box hole should not be facing the prevailing wind and rain or directly in the sun. The box should be placed about 2 m (6 to 7 feet) above ground level, and preferably out of reach of predators, such as cats.

If woodpeckers or squirrels are likely to be a problem, a metal plate can be fitted around the hole to stop them gnawing or chiselling the hole bigger.

N.B. Measurements for the box are approximate as they depend partly on the thickness of the wood that you use.

Last revision: 27 Mar 2010
Copyright © David Gains 1999-2014.
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