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Now is the time to put up nest boxes

The spring breeding season for the birds in your garden might be a distant thought as we’re still enduring the cold days of early January, but actually now is a great time to put up a nest box or two.

So why is that? Well, although we’ve only just passed the shortest day of the year, some species of bird will soon be starting the process of looking for a suitable nest site – and in the case of the Great Tit may have started already. Indeed, Great Tits may spend a month or more looking for a suitable nest site, and are typically one of the first species to start singing and announcing their territory as early as February.

But even if the nest boxes you put up now aren’t adopted by breeding pairs in the months ahead (sometimes it takes more than one season before they’re first used), they will also serve as a safe and dry roosting place to get birds through the long cold nights. And this can be witnessed by keeping an eye on the nest box entrance at dusk, when all of a sudden a Blue Tit, Great Tit or even a few Wrens (who despite their strong territorial instincts often roost together) may disappear through the hole and hunker down inside for the night.

Even a very small garden will inevitably have somewhere which is suitable for a nest box, with a golden rule being that it must be out of direct sunlight to ensure the occupants don’t get too hot (which can lead to their death).

Selecting the right box or boxes and knowing where to put them might seem a bit daunting if you haven’t done so before, but we have all the advice you need on our website, including our latest videos about siting nest boxes and the range available. As you’d expect, we also have a very wide range of nest boxes to buy, including more specialist boxes for species such as Swift and Treecreeper. Plus nest boxes fitted with a CCTV camera so you can watch everything that happens inside the box from the comfort of your lounge, such as the young birds hatching – and what could be better than that!