The birds are busy in our garden collecting sticks, moss and old feathers to build and line their nests and have been since later February early March – however our biggest joy this year is that they are using a bird box that the kids made themselves with our help. With just a few tools and material you can make a nest box with the kids and then wait till later this year or next Spring once it’s settled into your backyard for the birds to come and visit to make it their home.

DIY Nest Box - wildlife gardening with kids

Materials needed

A plank of wood or Marine Plywood 6 inches wide 3/4 inch thick and 62 inches long.
Saw
Tape Measure
Ruler
Pencil
Glue, Screws or Nails (we nailed ours)
Hinge
Catch to keep the lid closed

Measurements

DIY Bird Box for small garden nesting birds

Making up the box

Cut the wood into the measurements as shown – the batten to the tree can be bigger if you don’t have an easy way to cut 2inches off of the width so don’t worry about getting that exact.

In the front section cut a hole near the top around 2 inches in diameter this will let in some of the slightly bigger garden birds but most likely inhabitants will be the smaller birds. A 1 1/8 will limit to smaller birds (similar to Blue and Great Tits in the UK).

DIY Nest Box - wildlife gardening with kids

Nail/glue/screw the front to the sides then the back. With the hollow tube put the bottom in place and then attach a hinge to the edge of the top on the 6 inch side and the other half to the batten wood.

Attach the batten to the back by nail/screw/glue if you nail and or screw then attach to the base and the top of the back of the box – if you glue then glue the whole piece.

DIY Nest Box - wildlife gardening with kids

Place a small hook and eye catch to keep the lid down this means that you can clear it out at the end of the nesting season.

The measurements, slight gaps and even joining make it ideal as it will allow essential ventilation as well as drainage so you are not after a perfect box.

Siting your nest box

Always site the nest box with the hole away from the prevailing wind and NEVER facing upwards as the water will enter and you could drown the birds. It needs to be a little concealed or hidden but with easy view so you can enjoy watching the birds enter and exit the box.

DIY Nest Box - wildlife gardening with kids

If your wood is untreated then treat with a wood preservative so that the nest box doesn’t rot whilst on the tree.

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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