Nest box, Check the parts

Check the parts: -

Back, front, two sides, bottom, lid, 10 nails, hole protector, 4 small screws, plastic for lid hinge, 9 felt nails, 2 staples and twist-it wire.

Nest box, Attach the circular hole protector

Attach the circular hole protector using the 4 small screws.

Partly hammer in 4 nails ensuring they are approximately half the thickness of the timber in from the sides. This will ensure they do not split the sides when they are fully driven home.

Nest box, Attach the sides

Carefully line-up the sides ensuring the angles are perfectly in place. This will ensure the lid fully closes when the box is completed.

Drive home the 4 nails to attach the sides.

Nest box, Sides now attached

The sides are now attached and aligned.

Nest box, Attach the back

Note that the from hangs below the bottom of the sides. This is to ensure any rainwater drip off instead of creeping underneath.

Now align the constructed part to the back. Here you should nail the back onto the sides leaving approx. 30mm at the bottom. This will ensure there is enough space at the top of the box for the roof to be attached and hinged.

Drive in 4 nails as per the front.

Nest box, Back attached

The back is fully attached.

Nest box, Fit the bottom

Fit the bottom. Ensure the bottom is correctly oriented as it is NOT square. Carefully use a hammer to fit it, this may be a tight fit.

Note the bottom is places around 5mm in from the bottom of the sides. Again, this is to prevent rainwater creeping and wetting the base.

You will not that two corners have been removed. This is to allow any moisture to drain from within the box. When the box is full of chick condensation can be created. This is to allow it to drain away.

Use the remaining 2 nails to secure the bottom through the sides.

Nest box, Attach the sheet to the lid

Attach the plastic sheet to the lid using three of the felt nails. Ensure the angle of the lid is as shown in the photograph or the lid will not fit onto the box.

Nest box, Attach the lid to the nest box

Position the nest box on its back and place the lid on the angles. Push the plastic sheet into the angle as tightly as possible and secure it to the back using 3 more felt nails. Keeping the plastic tight into the angle will reduce the amount of movement it has and keep the “hinge” tight.

Nest box, Fasten down the plastic sheet

Stand the box up and fold the remaining plastic over the top of the back. Secure with the final 3 felt nails to form a waterproof seal.

Nest box, hammer in the staples

Lay the box on its side and hammer in the two staples – one in the lid and one in the side. Make sure they are as close together as possible. Use the Twist-it wire to lock the lid shut. This will prevent predators lifting the lid but will provide easy access for cleaning at the end of the nesting season.

Nest box, bottom fixing position Nest box, upper fixing position

If you intend screwing or nailing the box into position it is suggested drilling a hole at the bottom and inside the top of the box.

Nest box, Completed

Your Heartwood Nest Box is now complete. Here are a few tips to help ensure you are successful in attracting birds to use it:

  • The hole in this nest box is 32mm. This will allow Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Sparrows to gain access.
  • Site the box around 2m above ground
  • Ensure there is no easy access for predators – e.g. on a fence post where a cat can walk along the fence.
  • Try to face the box East or North in a sheltered spot. The two main points to consider are not in the prevailing weather direction and in the shade of the midday sun.
  • If you are lucky enough for your box to be used it should be cleaned out at the end of the Season (around November). It is illegal to disturb nesting birds, so cleaning late in the season will ensure nesting has completed and any residual eggs are not viable. Cleaning the box is important to remove pests and parasites as the box will likely be used for roosting in cold weather.