Characteristics of Good Nest Box

What It takes to have a good nest box

Untreated Wood

Use untreated, unpainted wood preferably pine (recycled) as it is lightweight, rough and durable. General plywood is not durable outside and  recycled pine also helps in conservation.


Use black oxide coated steel screws for assembling box as easier to remove for maintenance. Rusted   nails can result in box falling down with eggs/chicks and also makes box maintenance difficult.  SS screws (2 or 2”) for hanging box on tree

Sloped Roof

Sloped roof over hanging the front and sides  by 1.5 – 2” keeps rain water out.  Smooth sloped roof  made of centering plywood also helps in thwarting predators.

Recessed Base

Recessed base prevents the floor from getting wet during rains. Recess the base about 5mm from bottom.

Drainage holes

Drill 5mm holes on base for water to get out.  Number of holes depends on box size.

Thick walls

Walls should be at least 15mm thick to maintain  integrity of the box and provide insulation

Rough Front Interior

Interior wall below entrance hole should be rough to help chicks climb out of the box. Unfinished pine (non planed) is rough enough for small boxes. Smooth boards needs to be roughed with coarse sandpaper

Interior grooves

Boxes made of smooth sanded boards should have shallow horizontal cuts on the inside of front panel for chcks to climb out. Larger pine boxes will also help from interior grooves

Extended Back

Back panel should be extended on top and bottom by a  few cm. This will help in mounting the box on trees. Pre drill 5mm holes on top and bottom before installation.

No Perches

 Birds don’t need perches.  Any projection from box will  help predators like cats, raptors gain access to box


Snakes are excellent climbers and difficult to thwart their entry. Baffles don’t work on trees. Avoid  installing boxes near leaf or brush

Front Patch

Front patch about 2 to 2.5cm thick will impede cats and monkeys from getting access to eggs/chicks by preventing their paws or hands from reaching the bottom of the box

Edge Coating

Cut edges of centering plywood (top and back) can be protected by using 2K Polyurethane coating