If you are looking at solutions for enticing more wildlife into your garden or yard, bird and bat boxes are an ideal solution. Installing bird boxes and bat boxes is a simple and efficient way to draw a range of birds and bats to your home. They’re a great way to deliver secure nesting and roosting spots for birds and bats, add to local biodiversity, and bring more wildlife to your garden.
In this blog post, we’re going to outline some of the benefits of installing bird boxes in your home or garden and some of the factors you should take into consideration when deciding on the right product and fixing.
The benefits of installing a bird (or bat) box
Installing a bird box in your garden or home offers a number of benefits, both for yourself and the local bird and bat populations. The main – and perhaps most obvious – benefit is that it helps maintain bird habitats at a time when these are increasingly at risk from loss of green spaces and climate variations.
A bird box is a great way to help protect local species and will make your garden more attractive to birds during migration and nesting seasons. The provision of a safe and sheltered place for them to nest and raise their young is also an ideal way to improve their survival rates.
Not only that, but a well-placed bird box offers a fantastic prospect for bird watching, a pastime that can be incredibly relaxing and a great source of stress reduction. Bird watching is also an enjoyable family-friendly activity, great for introducing children to nature.
A bird box also helps boost the local ecology by increasing the incidence of insect-eating bird species. Several species of birds feed on insects and small creatures and having more of them around can help keep insect populations in balance. This can even help with reducing the levels of crop damage caused by insect pests.
The different types of bird boxes available
There is a wide range of bird box designs available on the market, and your choice will depend on the kinds of birds you wish to attract.
A popular type of bird box is the open-fronted bird box, as it provides a safe home for small hole-nesting birds. These boxes usually include a sloping roof feature that ensures rainwater will run off. Open-fronted boxes can be placed in a range of settings but ideally should be situated facing away from prevailing winds, direct sunlight, and areas of heavy foot or vehicle traffic.
An owl box is, as the name suggests, is specifically designed for owls. Positioned high up in trees and possessing a wide entrance to allow owls to fly into them, they offer a safe setting for nesting owls. They also have a sloping roof to keep rainwater out.
Bat boxes are another way to draw wildlife to your garden. Designed to offer a roosting place for bats, they are ideally positioned in an area that is shaded during part of the day and gets direct sun for part of the day. Place the boxes at least three metres above the ground, preferably on the side of a building or a tree for best results.
If you want a long-lasting solution, or are working on a home makeover or new build project, installing a built-in bird or bat box is a great option. Designed to fit into the wall of a house or other permanent structure, they offer a safe nesting area for birds and bats alike.
Where should bird boxes be situated?
Location is key for attracting wildlife, but so too is the species you want to appeal to, and what type of habitat they most prefer. In general, the best installation option is a sheltered environment such as near trees, hedges and shrub to provide shelter from wind and rain. It is also important to factor in placing the box out of reach of predators such as cats.
To attract small birds to your home or outdoor space, mounting the box 4-6 metres above the ground will provide the best results. For larger birds, aim to place the box 10-12 metres above ground level. It is also advisable to install them with the entrance hole of the box facing away from prevailing winds and away from any buildings or roads, as this will allow birds to take off safely.
It is important to ensure that your bird box is installed securely, as this will stop it from falling and becoming damaged. It is best to nail it to a wall or use screws when attaching it to a tree.
With a few simple steps, you can easily create a safe and inviting environment for our winged friends!
What type of birds you can expect to see in your garden?
The UK is home to many species of birds, some of which may be familiar and others less so. Blackbirds, blue tits, robins, starlings, wrens, wood pigeons, collared doves, house sparrows and great tits are the species most likely to be seen in UK gardens. Chaffinches, greenfinches, goldfinches, long-tailed tits and coal tits are less prevalent but make for a welcome addition to any outdoor space.
Bird boxes may also attract tree sparrows, house martins, song thrushes and spotted flycatchers to your garden. Attracting rarer birds such as owls, kingfishers, jays, barn owls and kestrels may also be dependent on your location. Installing a bird box help provide all these species with a safe and comfortable place to roost or nest in.
This blog post explored some of the advantages of installing a bird box in your garden, home, or outdoor space. It also looked at the different types of bird boxes on the market, where they should be sited, and what species of birds you are likely to see in your garden.
Not only do bird boxes offer a delightful opportunity to bring more wildlife to your home, but they also make for a great addition or feature to any garden.
Why not give it a go and invite nature into your garden today, and help the environment too? Browse our range of bird and bat boxes, and drop us a line if you need any more information.
Photo by Mariko margetson on Unsplash.