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The Best Way to Set Up a Bird Nesting Box

Our bird box kits are one of our most popular products as they make great gifts and people love getting a glimpse into the world of birds. There’s a great deal of entertainment to be had from watching a blue tit build its nest, find a mate, lay its eggs and then raise its chicks – all from a little bird box in your garden!

However, it’s not as simple as placing a box in your garden – “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t work quite as well with our feathery friends. We’ve got a few tips and hints from a bird watching enthusiast and from members of our team on the best way to set up your bird box and camera.

The Best Way to Set Up a Nesting Box

We recently ran a Facebook competition to give away one of our bird box camera kits – turns out the winner, Richard Knowles, has several bird boxes set up which he documents on his blog. 

Richard has some tips for setting up your nesting box:  “Siting the nestbox is critical. Mine is near a perching sight, away from anything that most predators could access it from and is facing north(ish).” Cats and dogs aren’t the only predator to be aware of, but squirrels too!

“Making sure feeding stations are at least 15ft away has also helped and provided regular food throughout the year.”

“One final thing is making sure it’s at the right height for the birds you want to nest in it.” See further down the page for suggested heights for your bird box depending on the type of birds you want to attract.

Make sure that the entrance of the box is facing away from any strong winds or harsh sun light that may sweep through your garden. Also keep the entrance slightly tilted down so rain doesn’t get in.

The RSPB has lots of advice on setting up bird boxes, which should be done ready for autumn and winter as this is when birds will be looking for shelter.

Bird Box Height Suggestions

The RSPB recommends placing a box two to four metres up a wall if you’re looking to attract tits, sparrows or starlings. For robins and wrens the box needs to be low down, no higher than 2 metres off the ground. Place them among lots of vegetation as they like to be hidden.

Fly catchers like their boxes to be high, around 2-4 metres with some plants sheltering the box but still with a “clear outlook.” Woodpeckers also like a clear flight path in a quiet, undisturbed spot with the box around 3-5 metres up on a tree trunk.

Tips for Setting Up a Camera in Your Nesting Box

Andy from SpyCameraCCTV has a few pointers on how to best set up a camera in your bird box. After all that work setting up your box in the right place and encouraging a bird to nest, a bird box camera is the ideal way to keep an eye on your new feathery neighbours!

“First of all, pick a location for your bird box. You want it to be about 2 metres off the ground, under some shade and above some shrubbery if possible. Make sure the entrance is easily accessible and not facing any bright lights. Ideally the entrance should be facing North or East.

“Once you’ve chosen a location but before you put it up, let’s install the camera. It’s best positioned high up in the nesting box – secured to the roof looking directly down is best, but placing it high on one of the side walls is fine otherwise. It’s not a good idea to have it facing the entrance/exit directly, as it will suffer from glare at certain times of day. Remember to drill a hole for the camera’s power cable, taking care not to make it too much bigger than the diameter of the cable.

“Now, put your bird box up in place, insert a small object inside as a test subject, and cover the entrance with some masking tape or similar. Make any final tweaks for positioning and leave the box up for 24 hours. Once you’re satisfied that you’re getting a good picture and the light levels are sufficient, uncover the entrance and remove your test object. Now keep your fingers crossed until you find a lodger!”

Check out some of the footage from people who have used our bird box cameras by clicking ‘Your Wildlife Footage’ from the menu above.

If you need any more help using your bird box camera then give our technical guys a call on 0117 325 2470 and choose Option 2, or send them an email

NEW! We’ve got a video of Andy demonstrating how to set up a camera in your nesting box, CLICK HERE to see it. 

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