Shops unfortunately sell a whole range of boxes which are entirely unsuited as living places for birds or which could have potentially fatal consequences. Most nest boxes are factory produced, which means that as many as possible must be produced in the shortest time, to make them as cheap as possible. It is also unfortunate that a lot of people who know next to nothing about nest boxes are starting to make such boxes from waste timber which would otherwise have been thrown away.
The best nest boxes arc those made from hollowed out sections of tree trunks, the so-called block nest boxes, the most common of which are made from birch. Such boxes are often fixed to trees via a lath which is nailed onto the box. It is important not to have nails projecting into the interior of the nest box.
Also, nest boxes may sometimes be too narrow or the entrance hole too small, so be sure to carefully check these dimensions on any nest box you buy.The internal depth should be 18-19 cm, the inner floor diameter at least II-12 cm, and the entrance hole at least 2.8 cm in diameter for blue tits.
Some people recommend making nest boxes from old Tetra-Pak and other unusual materials. Do not buy a nest box because it looks unusual or pretty, but you should consider instead whether it will provide suitable accommodation for small birds both during summer and winter.
There are unfortunately many nest box models sold in shops which are made entirely from sheet metal. These become genuine ice boxes in winter and saunas in summer. It goes without saying that their insulating capacity is virtually zero. With a change in the weather condensation will form inside often with fatal consequenccs for any young birds unfortunate enough to be in such a nest box.
Sheet metal nest boxes are of course strong and durable, but they have the enormous drawback in that they become burning hot in the summer sun and fail to insulate against cold in the winter when boxes are often used every night as sleeping quarters by tits and other birds.
Because of this, sheet metal nest boxes are entirely unsuitable and should never be used no matter how sturdy they arc.
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