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Nest boxes are a perfect place for many bird species to nest and raise their young. In addition to the size, the height at which the box is to be hung and the direction in which the box is aligned are important so that the birds feel comfortable. Because not every bird species prefers a south-facing apartment.

bird species

Birds from B to G

Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

The wagtail returns from the Mediterranean in March, so you should start putting up the nest boxes in early spring. The semi-hollow boxes should be as follows.

  • be protected from rain, wind and blazing sun
  • at least two meters high
  • and have the niche opening in the southern to eastern direction
Wagtail, Motacilla alba

Tip: In order to protect the wagtail from predators, the nest box should be hung as freely as possible on the wall.

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

Jackdaws like to breed in company. Therefore you should always offer several nesting boxes. For jackdaws that breed indoors, the nesting aid should be attached behind openings to attics or on the outside facade. Make sure that no headlights fall on the nest boxes. Nesting aids for tree-breeding jackdaws should be hung at the edge of the forest. A free approach is important.

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

Tip: The distance between the nest boxes should be about half a meter.

Short-toed treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)

The treecreeper nest box is best attached to a tree with coarse bark. Because this is used by the birds to search for food. The ideal place for the nest box is described as follows.

  • calm and protected
  • at a height of two to three meters
  • facing east or south-east
Short-toed treecreeper, Certhia brachydactyla

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

Spotted flycatchers breed in semi-cave boxes that should be hung freely on a house wall to protect them from cats or martens. The ideal time for hanging is early spring. The box should look like this.

  • protected from wind and rain and not exposed to direct sunlight
  • have the entrance hole facing south to east
  • at least 2 meters above the ground
Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata

Birds from K to M

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

You can tell whether a nuthatch has used the nesting box by the fact that the entrance hole was covered with clay and earth. A nesting aid that has the following properties is ideal for the nuthatch.

  • protected from rain, wind and blazing sun
  • at least 2 meters above the ground
  • has a south to east entry opening
Nuthatch, Sitta europaea

Common Swift (Apus apus)

Since swifts belong to the colony breeders, you should hang up at least 3 to 4 nest boxes. In addition, swifts are extremely loyal to their breeding site, which is why you should offer the nesting aid for years to come. The boxes are hung at great heights with free landing and take-off possibilities and should be protected from rain, wind and blazing sun.

Common swift, Apus apus

Tits (Paridae)

Tits are very happy to accept nesting aids. Ideally, the nest box has the following properties.

  • protected from rain, wind and blazing sun
  • installed at a height of at least 2 meters above the ground
  • the entrance hole should point in a south to east direction
Tits, Paridae

Birds from R to S

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Robins prefer semi-hollow boxes as nesting aids. The niche opening should face south to east. In addition, the box should have these properties.

  • be protected from wind, rain and blazing sun
  • hang at least 2 meters high
Robin, Erithacus rubecula

Tip: You can hang up the nesting box as early as autumn.

Redstarts (Phoenicurus)

The nest box for the black and redstart should be hung in the treetop. If this is not possible, the minimum distance to the ground should be 2 meters. The box itself should be protected from wind, rain and blazing sun. The entrance should face south to east.

Redstart and black redstart, Phoenicurus

Tip: As a migratory bird, the redstart is happy about an empty nest box from April to early May.

Woodpecker (Picidae)

Nest boxes for woodpeckers are attached to the tree. The entry hole must be on the leeward side. The minimum height for attachment is 2 meters, 3 meters is ideal.

Woodpecker, Picidae

Tip: Protect the nesting aid from cats and other nest predators.

Sparrows (Passeridae)

House and tree sparrows are sociable birds and breed in loose colonies. Since the sparrow breeds up to four times from mid-April, you should only clean the nest box in the autumn. The ideal location for the nesting aids is as follows.

  • protected from wind, rain and blazing sun
  • at least 2 meters above the ground
  • Cardinal direction of the entrance hole: south to east
Sparrows, Passeridae

Tip: Offer the birds a "sparrow row house" as a nesting aid.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

The minimum height for hanging a star box is 4 meters. Since starlings are a sociable bird species, you should always install several nest boxes. The entrance hole faces south to east. Protect the nesting aid from direct sun, wind and rain.

Starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Tip: Although starlings like to perch on a perch in front of the nest, this should be avoided as it allows easier access for nest predators.

little owl (Athene noctua)

Since the little owl box is up to 90 centimeters long, it is attached to a horizontal branch of a tree, tilted slightly backwards. The suspension height is 3 to 5 meters. In addition, an undisturbed, shady place should be chosen for the box. The box is oriented to the south or south-east.

Little Owl, Athene noctua

Tip: Attach the little owl box so that the young birds can get out of the box and back in quickly.

Birds from T to Z

Pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)

The pied flycatcher prefers a cave breeding box as a nesting aid. This is attached at a height of at least 2 meters. It should be protected from rain, wind and blazing sun. The entrance hole points in a southerly to easterly direction.

Pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca

Tip: Since the pied flycatcher does not come to our region to breed until mid-April, its reproduction can be promoted by hanging up nest boxes in a targeted manner.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Kestrel nest boxes can't be hung high enough because kestrels like to have a good view of their surroundings. Kestrels are extremely loyal birds, so you should offer them the nesting aid for several years.

Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Tip: Surround the box with a board about 15 centimeters wide so that the young birds have some freedom of movement.

Tawny owl (Strix aluco)

The tawny owl breeds in caves and is happy to accept nesting aids. Optimal location for the nest box is as follows.

  • at a height of 5 to 6 meters
  • quiet and undisturbed
Tawny owl, Strix aluco

In addition, the arrival and departure should be free. The entrance hole should point to the east.

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)

Wren nest boxes can be attached to trees, house walls or shed walls. The suspension height should be at least 2 meters. The entrance hole should point to the east. In addition, the box should not be exposed to the blazing sun.

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes

Tip: Do not hang the box in a fork in a branch, otherwise the birds will not be easy prey for predators.

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