Whether it’s for nesting or as safe refuge to sleep in on a cold winter’s night, robins readily take to nest boxes. However and unlike other garden bird species such as blue tit, there are two key requirements: Firstly, the nest box must be open-fronted, and secondly it must be 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 will often not 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 most 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 bird’s mind because it’s entered the shed through a relatively small gap in a door or window etc.

Different types of Robin Nest Boxes

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 do 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 site a robin nest box in your garden

So this is the absolutely key bit, and as we mentioned before a robin nest box will 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.

When to put up a robin nest box

Now is a great time! And that’s not only because the nest box will be ready for the breeding season come early spring, but by providing a safe and dry roosting enclosure now 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.