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Whether it’s for nesting or as a safe refuge to sleep in on a cold winter’s night, Robins readily take to nest boxes. However, unlike other garden bird species such as the Blue tit, there are two key requirements: Firstly, the nest box must be open-fronted, and secondly it must be fairly well hidden – e.g. in a climber against a wall – for the Robin to choose to use it.

On the latter point, Robins are especially secretive when it comes to nesting, and won’t even go to their nest site if they know they’re being watched. This is the main reason that, despite being a common breeding species in many gardens, most people wouldn’t know where the nest actually was. Interestingly, when Robins do pick a slightly more obvious nesting site, it’s typically inside somewhere such as an old shed – with the ‘secretive’ part achieved in the Robin’s mind because it entered the shed through a relatively small gap in a door or window.

Different types of Robin Nest Box

There are essentially two types of nest box for Robins. The first is this traditional open-fronted wooden box. The second isn’t a ‘box’ as such but does much the same job – which we call a Brushwood Robin Nester. Both of these options stand a good chance of being used by Robins in your garden, provided they’re sited in the right place.

Open Fronted Nest Box & Brushwood Robin Nester

Where to put a Robin nest box

This is the absolutely key bit, and as we mentioned before a Robin nest box will generally only be used if it’s well hidden. Along with tucking it behind a climber against a wall or fence, other options include within the foliage of a dense shrub, or even a conifer such as Leylandii.

How high should a Robin nest box be?

Robins build their nests relatively close to the ground in a more natural setting, so the nest box should be positioned about one metre high. However, the more important factor is what’s outlined above – making sure the Robin nest box is well hidden, so if this means higher or lower than one metre in order to achieve that, then that’s the best approach.

When to put up a robin nest box

Autumn is the best time, as not only will the nest box be ready for the breeding season come early spring, but by providing a safe and dry roosting enclosure for a Robin to sleep in, you’ll be helping an individual bird make it through the cold winter months to then go on and nest. That said, a Robin nest box can be put up at any time of year – including in early spring – with a view to it being eventually used at some point.