Nestboxes for the roof - sparrows, starlings and swifts

House Sparrows, Starlings, House Martins and Swifts use buildings for nest sites. The last two species are almost completely dependent on them.

Where possible, tell builders to leave existing nest holes alone, and to work around them when carrying out repairs and renovations to your roof. If this isn't possible, get them to fit an internal nest box at exactly the same location as the original nest site.

New nest sites can be created by making appropriately sized holes in suitable locations. The minimum diameter of the entrance should be 32 mm for house sparrows and 45 mm for starlings.  Swifts require a 'letterbox' entrance of a minimum of 65 mm x 25-35 mm.

If you are unable to provide internal nests for house sparrows, starlings or swifts, why not put a nestbox on the outside wall of your house? Position it under the eaves, away from any windows and out of the direct sun, wind and rain.  House martins also build their nests under the eaves. You could place a ready-made nest beneath the eaves, preferably on a north or east-facing wall, and not above a door or window.


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