Birds are in decline across the country, but you can help to turn the tide with a bird nesting box.
Changes to climate, farming practices and urban landscapes have changed how birds nest. With fewer trees and wooden barns to build nests in, mating pairs of many birds are declining. With a bird nesting box you can offer them shelter and be thanked with beautiful birdsong.
Birds make fantastic wild companions and encouraging birds into your garden is a great way to introduce you and your family to British wildlife. They can even help in the garden, eating common garden pests like snails and aphids.
If you put food out for them to eat and a bird bath where they can drink and wash, you can attract these characterful creatures and provide a much-needed sanctuary.
We’ve curated a list of bird nesting boxes – from the understated to the unique – to help you choose the perfect one for your garden.
Types of bird boxes
Different birds have different needs, so if you’re looking to introduce birds to your garden this way it’s a good idea to have a range of nesting boxes.
Robin nesting box
Robins like small but open-faced bird boxes.
Swift nesting box
Swifts love high, long nesting boxes, with a small crevice opening to hide in.
Sparrow nesting box
Sparrows are largely unfussed by type, but prefer little, square nests with a small entry hole.
Blue tit nesting box
Blue tits love small, round nesting boxes that mimic holes in oak trees.
Seven of the best nesting boxes
See our pick of a range of nesting boxes, below:
National Trust CJ Wildlife Build Your Own Nest Box Kit
This build-your-own bird nesting box kit is a perfect DIY project. Customise this box however you like, as the birds won’t mind as long as they have a warm place to sleep. A fantastic starting point for teaching children the basics of DIY while learning about – and caring for – the natural world.
Johnston & Jeff Middleton Swift Box
Swifts are magical birds, spending almost their entire lives in the air and they summer throughout northern Europe and winter in Sub-Saharan Africa. A swift nesting box offers this remarkable species one of the few places they’ll ever land.
CJ Wildlife House Martin Nest Box
House martins are fascinating birds, breeding and raising their young in the UK but wintering somewhere unknown in Africa – some have even been spotted as far south as Namibia. This bird nesting box perfectly mimics their mud nests, and is designed to be fitted under eaves, beams, and windowsills, just like real house martin nests. What’s more, this bird nesting box comes with two nests, so you can watch two broods of this intriguing species mature for the long flight southwards.
Wildlife World Artisan Nester Shesali
This unique bird nesting box not only provides for birds, but for humans too. Made from recycled saris it has no plastic and is Fairtrade, ensuring high working standards and fair pay for the Bangladeshi workers who make them. A great product for ethical consumers.
Wildlife World Blue Tit Nest Box
One of the most common birds in Britain, blue tits are also the most likely to take to a bird nesting box. They’re an especially helpful companion for gardeners, because they love to eat aphids. For the joy of birdsong and some free pest control, look no further than this FSC-certified birch bird nesting box.
Riverside Woodcraft Sparrow Terrace
Sparrows are one of the most common birds in Europe and one of the most social. Few birds are as unbothered by human beings as sparrows, which is why they’re commonly found in towns. Though populous in Europe, the numbers of house sparrows has collapsed in the UK in recent years. This bird nesting box offers space for three different nests at once, so you can help to revitalise this mainstay of British wildlife.
Wildlife World Woodpecker Box
Woodpeckers are one of nature’s more striking birds, hammering into tree bark with their beaks to pick out ants, grubs and larvae with long, thin tongues. This industrious tapping is one of the most distinctive sounds of British wildlife. This FSC-certified bird nesting box is specifically designed for woodpeckers to roost – just put it in a tall tree facing away from the prevailing wind.
For more advice on how to put up bird nesting boxes, take a look at Monty Don’s guide below: