If you’re a site manager or buyer or architect, the selection of bird boxes now on the market can be overwhelming. With an ever greater focus on low-impact construction, they are very often a requirement for planning while your priority is finishing the build on-schedule. Whether you’re in planning, or halfway up the wall, we’ve listed some of our favourites below by species to help you choose the most suitable bird boxes for your build.
To make the most of your bird box, you should site it according to the requirements of your target species. Ensure all boxes are not easily accessed by potential predators, and receive some direct sunlight during the day.
Need help selecting bird boxes for your garden? Our Choosing Bird Nest Boxes Guide can help!
Swift populations have been declining in recent years due to the loss of suitable nesting sites, so installing nest boxes can help to offset this decline and encourage conservation. They prefer high nesting sites, so choose a location that is high up, ideally under the eaves or in a sheltered spot. A height of 5-7 metres is recommended. Ensure that the nest box is positioned away from prevailing winds with a clear flight path below.
A simple, stylish solution that you can easily integrate into new builds or wall-mounted on existing properties. It’s sized to a standard UK block and the fitting instructions are helpfully cast into the back. Available in two colours - white and charcoal and made with up to 70% waste material from the Cornish china clay industry.
The lightweight nesting box is ideal for inclusion in heat insulation systems on your external walls. It features a protruding, ring-shaped perch at the entrance enables the box to be easily installed flush with the wall surface, leaving only the entrance visible. The Schwegler woodcrete material is known for keeping a stable internal temperature throughout the breeding season.
Available both as an externally mounting box, or integrated; Genesis Swift Boxes are made from MgO an environmentally friendly, non-hazardous product that is very lightweight. Genesis boxes are widely used in Ireland, and are now available to the UK and rest of Europe exclusively through Wildcare. Genesis also offer double entrance and triple entrance options, so you can integrate more nests for less!
Ideal if you’re already using Ibstock bricks on site, they can be made bespoke with your Ibstock brick to match. Wildcare also stock three colour options; red, buff and blue off the shelf if you need them in a hurry.
House Sparrows are known to readily accept nest boxes and can benefit from their availability, especially in urban or suburban areas where natural nesting sites may be limited. They are gregarious nesters, so boxes will often have multiple chambers. Sparrow nest boxes should be sited in a sheltered location about 2 metres or more above ground level.
Made in Schwegler’s insulating woodcrete, this box provides space for three families of House Sparrows while the double entrance allows more light into the nesting chambers. It’s designed for building integration, but fixings for wall-mounting are also included. The Schwegler 1SP is available in two colours - brown and grey and the front panel is removable for yearly maintenance.
Manufactured in France, and available exclusively in the UK through Wildcare, the Nature Harmonie Sparrow Terrace is a wood/concrete material that boasts three nesting chambers. Like the Schwegler 1SP Sparrow box, there is a removable front panel for yearly cleaning and is also suitable for both integration and wall-mounting.
This sparrow nest from Vivara Pro is a more economical alternative to the Schwegler and Nature Harmonie models. The WoodStone material of which the two nest chambers are constructed is comparable to woodcrete. It features a modern white, ceramic front panel, which is also removable for yearly cleaning.
If you’re looking for seamless integration of your sparrow terrace, the Habibat Sparrow Terrace would be ideal. Made from concrete, it can house three families of Sparrows and can be supplied either unfaced for rendering, faced with standard red, blue or buff brick or made bespoke with bricks or stone from your site.
House Martins & Barn Swallows
Although not suitable for integration, house martin and swallow cups will often be specified for building work due to the species’ strong use of manmade structures for their nests during summer. Both species are highly gregarious, so its recommended to site several nests close to each other. They should be sited high up, under the eaves. They can be messy, so a droppings board can be used and cleaned yearly.
This premium nest for two House Martin families features its own roof so no eaves required. Constructed from Schwegler’s durable woodcrete and painted in a modern light-grey colour. The nest cups can also be removed for yearly cleaning. A matching droppings board is also available.
Made from WoodStone, Vivara Pro offer this economic double nest. The cups are not removable, but can be cleaned through an opening at the back by removing the nest.
This woodstone swallow nest with chipboard backing plate is an excellent imitation of the swallows' natural nests. It is very reasonably priced compared to its competitors and is very easy to fit - just screw through the backing plate to the inside of an open building.
If you’re looking for a longer lasting nest made from more sustainable and hygienic materials, the back plate of this nest bowl is made from 100% recycled ldpe with a concrete resin cup. To fit, just slot over two screws using the keyholes on each site, and a third screw can be used to secure through the hole at the base.
There are a range of different entrances to suit many species of birds that nest in suburban areas. These range from 26mm holes to suit small blue tits up to 45mm for starlings. Open-fronted boxes are preferred by robins, wagtails and redstarts. Site these boxes should be sited in a sheltered location, roughly 2m above ground level.
A Schwegler woodcrete box with dimensions that correspond to European brick sizes. It can be installed flush with the wall and rendered over so that only the entrance rose can be visible. It has a 32mm diameter entrances suitable for the most common garden species, such as Great Tits, Blue Tits and House Sparrows.
A stylish white box with a modern design. Like all Green&Blue products, this is manufactured from 70% waste material from China Clay mining. With a 32mm diameter entrance, it is suitable for many common species and has a removable from panel for yearly maintenance. It can be built-in to block or brick work, but a fixing kit is also available to purchase for wall-mounting.
Starling numbers have been in dramatic decline since the 1970s and as such is red listed as a species of conservation concern. Boxes for starlings have a 45mm entrance hole and as the birds prefer to nest close to each other and high up, group a few boxes together. The Habibat Starling box offers a seamless integration into the wall; available unfaced for render, faced in standard red, blue or buff brick, or faced using bricks or stone from your site.
A build in nest suitable for redstarts, wagtails, robins. Made from Vivara Pro’s insulating and durable WoodStone, it can simply be built-in to the blockwork or wall-mounted using the fixings provided. Ideally, place under a roof edge or guttering to provide some shade
Didn’t find something suitable for you? Wildcare stock and supply a wide range of boxes for most UK bird species. You can browse our full range for even more products, or you can contact our experts for further advice on 01451 833181 or [email protected]