More info: Nest boxes for tits, sparrows and starlings should be placed two to four metres up a tree or a wall.
Unless there are trees or buildings to give shade to the nest box during the day, place the nest box to be between north and east facing, to avoid strong sunlight and the wettest winds.
Ensure that the birds have a clear flight path to the nest box without any obstacles directly in front of the entrance. Tilt the box forward slightly so that any driving rain will hit the roof and bounce clear.
House sparrows and starlings will readily use nestboxes placed high up under the eaves. Since these birds nest in loose colonies, two or three can be sited spaced out on the same side of the house. Keep these away from areas where house martins normally nest.
Two boxes close together may be occupied by the same species if they are at the edge of adjoining territories and there is plenty of natural food. While this readily happens in the countryside, it is rare in gardens, where you normally can only expect one nesting pair of any one species. The exceptions to this are house and tree sparrows and house martins, which are colonial nesters. By putting up different nest boxes, several species can be attracted.
Choose a diversity of nestbox types and move those that prove unsuccessful. If you’re struggling to attract birds to a nest box, you might find that quite a small change in location or aspect can encourage birds to nest there.
Nest boxes should be cleaned each winter. Remove old nests and clean the boxes with hot water to kill parasites.