Build a nest box for birds

Nest boxes are the perfect way to create homes for wildlife in your garden or school grounds. Essentially they increase the number of spaces available in your garden, and by making nest boxes with different sized entry holes, you can make homes for different species of birds.

This activity is perfect all year round, outside or inside, and will mean you are ready to accommodate those broody birds when spring comes round!


Birdbox building © Peter Cairns 2020VISION

What you will need:

  • Rough cut timber
  • Some old rubber or a hinge
  • 20mm nails
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Hand brace or drill
  • Pencil, ruler and scissors

How to make a nest box:

  1. Mark out the wood as per the diagram in the illustration below, and use the saw to cut the pieces.
  2. Choose which species you would like the box to be for. Different birds need different sized entry holes: (blue tits (25mm); great tits (28mm); sparrows (38mm); starlings (45mm); robins (no hole – open fronted box).
  3. Once decided, use the drill to make the chosen hole size in the ‘front’ section of wood.
  4. Assemble the sections together using the hammer and nails.
  5. Fix on the roof panel using the old rubber or hinge.
  6. Attach the box to a tree 2.5 metres above the ground, in a sheltered spot.
  7. Your nest box is ready for its first family!

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Time to complete

2 hours

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Technologies (craft and design)

Sciences (ecology, biology, natural history, planet Earth topic)

Numeracy and Mathematics (number and measure)


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