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Two years ago I bought a robin nesting box, the sort which have quite a large front opening. The Dunnocks decided to use it to raise a family in. Alas the Magpie soon spotted the nestlings and had the lot. Now the Dunnocks usually raised  their family in the honeysuckle and as far as I'm aware, this was successful. No bird has used the nesting box since and I am beginning to think that hedges and thick shrubs are less conspicuous than some types of nesting boxes. What are the experiences of others?

Gary Hobson

I have no personal experience, such as you describe.

However, birds are normally careful about where they nest. If a bird thinks a site might be unsafe and open to predators, then a sensible bird would not nest there.

Perhaps your box would have been more successful if it had been placed deeper into the honeysuckle.

Robins like an open nest but they usually like it concealed, out of the way somewhere.


The nesting box wasn't in the honeysuckle but attached to my shed and hidden behind a holly tree.  Not hidden enough obviously!   My bluetit nesting box is more of a success but then it has only a small opening at the front.


I've (sorry, We've) put up tit boxes in this garden and they're being inspected 

but we're not going to put up the open-fronted type until we've got plenty of cover to put them behind - we're planting honeysuckle, clematis, rambling and climbing roses as well as other climbers to give the birds plenty of cover, then we'll put the nest boxes on the fence behind thick tangles of creeper and fire water pistols at the cats and magpies 

I would love to have nesting boxes of some description.  Having had two cats (including a very proficient hunter) I have not been able to in the past.  However, we lost our 'hunter' last year and I thought it would be a good time to get some boxes (our remaining cat is very old and only has three teeth so unlikely to do any damage to baby birds!).  Unfortunately our neighbours two doors up now have a young tom who loves our garden (and wildlife in it) so no nesting boxes for the moment!


I do have a forsythia and honeysuckle against a fence (west facing) I may try that although I think it may be a little late to put up for this year?


Our neighbours' middle aged moggy is getting decidedly middle aged, and their old one popped his clogs, so we thought our birds were safe  - then one evening the neighbours arrived on our doorstep distraught with a young male tabby with a chicken bone stuck in his throat - OH (being a hero)  at great risk to life, limb and woolly jumper, stuck his fingers into the cat's throat and removed the bone.  

Not only have the neighbours got a  new bird-marauding cat named Pippin, but OH saved his life 

Said Pippin keeps creeping through the hedgehog gate in the bottom of the fence and sitting under the bird feeders waiting for them to fall into his lap (not a terribly successful hunting tactic so far).  When I see him I open the back door and he scarpers back through the hedgehog gate - when I retire and am around more I'll get a water pistol,

He's a lovely cat - but this is my garden, not his 



OH has just told me that Notcutts sell oozie-type water pistols -  I wonder why? 

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