Box clever for a couple of love birds

As well as continuing to feed the birds and supply clean water in your garden, providing somewhere for birds to roost and breed is a great thing to do.

Birds are starting to pair up for the new breeding season so it is now the ideal time to erect a nest box to help them, and other wildlife, as they prospect for suitable nest sites.

Natural nest sites such as holes in trees and buildings are disappearing as people are making home improvements and tidying their gardens. Why not help by providing a nest box for a species that is currently struggling such as the house sparrow or swift?

Each species will nest in boxes in which they feel safe. For example, a blue tit prefers a box with 28mm holes, a house sparrow prefers a box with holes that are just 32mm, and a robin prefers a box with an open front.

Go to Vine House Farm's website to see their range of nest boxes or check the shop at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre on your next visit to Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

Photograph: Swift nest box (Vine House Farm)

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