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I cover the tops of my boxes with damp proof course it also acts as the hinge and keeps the rain off. it comes in all widths you may find some in a builders skip.
ninareddin can your cats clime the house walls, thats a good place as any but face the hole away from the sun or the chick will cock inside on hot days.
My birdbox is facing east. This avoids the hot sun from the south, and the cold wind from the north. This summer great-tits raised two clutches in it.
Hashim, don't face it south! You may end up frying the chicks. I've got some facing east and some facing west and they only use the west facing ones...go figure
Dulal Das wrote (see)
Iam a crafts artist from Bangladesh . Interest Bird box making . Thanks Das
Das, the box as shown http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/wildlife-gardening/how-to-make-your-own-bird-box/31.html is very simple to make, but if you fancy something slightly different and have the ability/tools, you could always move away from a conventional shape and have some fun.
Also if you are making the box to suit sparrows, remember that they are a social bird and as such nest boxes can be made wider or linked together.
In respect of direction, I have nest boxes facing all manner of direction and all get used. The reason that I haven't been too concerned, is that the garden is wooded and shaded so doesn't get any full summer sun. A clear and safe flight line is more important for me when I put them up.