Large hole nesting birds

Jackdaw Corvus monedula

The smallest member of the crow family is an intelligent species with an expanding population in Britain. Outside towns they occupy a wide range of nesting sites, including deep inside old trees, derelict ruins, quarries and sea cliffs – but they’re equally happy to nest in urban areas.

  • Very big nestbox with a large entry hole of at least 150mm

  • Nest height at least 5m above ground – as high as possible

  • Nest made of sticks and lined with soft material such as hair

  • Egg laying starts between early April and late May. 1 brood

  • 4 to 5 eggs, pale blue with speckling

  • Incubation time 20 days

  • Nestlings fledge after 32-33 days

Stock Dove Columba oenas

The only member of the pigeon family that’s likely to use a nestbox is the Stock Dove, which also nests in cavities in rotten trees. Nestboxes are best sited on the edge of woodland, overlooking open fields. Stock Doves may attempt to breed up to four times each year, so don’t clean out boxes too early.

  • Very big nestbox with a large entry hole of at least 150mm

  • Nest height at least 3m above ground

  • Nest made of twigs and roots. A deep layer of droppings will accumulate

  • Egg laying starts between early March and early October. 2-5 broods

  • 2 eggs, plain white

  • Incubation time 21-23 days

  • Nestlings fledge after 28-29 days

Tawny Owl Strix aluco

Tawny Owls nest in woodland and well-wooded suburban gardens. Owls need a clear flight path in and out of the box that should be located in a quiet, secluded spot. Be aware that nesting owls can be dangerous if approached. 

  • Very big nestbox with a large entry hole of at least 150mm

  • Nest height at least 2.5m above ground

  • No nest is made

  • Egg laying starts between early March and late May. 1 brood

  • 2 to 3 eggs, plain white

  • Incubation time 30 days

  • Nestlings fledge after 35-39 days


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See also...

Nestbox Week 2019 Logo

National Nestbox Week is an established part of the ornithological calendar. Celebrated from February 14th each year, it puts the spotlight on breeding birds and asks everyone to put up more nestboxes in their local area. National Nestbox Week was first established in 1997 by the BTO and Britain’s leading birdcare specialist Jacobi Jayne & Co.

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Nestboxes come in many shapes to suit different birds.

Click on each box to learn a little more.