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Beautiful profile shot of Nuthatch perched on thick tree branch at sunset

Do Nuthatches use nest boxes

Nuthatches do use bird boxes but the while the design is not too fussy, the location can be hard to achieve for many of use.

The Nuthatch do use nest boxes of any shape or design, but it must be made with a 32mm entrance hole. Location is difficult, because unless your garden isn't near a tee line or within woodlands, you won't see Nuthatches use it. To continue to setup a nest, make sure its up high in a dense wooded area.

Not possible for many of us to attract the beautiful Nuthatch to use our nest box, unless you are within a busy, populated wooded area.

To succeed in attracting a Nuthatch to a nest box is not so much in the wooden or woodcrete box design that is needed, but a focus on an almost exclusive 32mm entrance is a requirement.

Not that a Nuthatch won't use a box with a hole size a few millimetres more or less either way - but because its difficult to bring birds to nest in our gardens, you don't want to risk deterring any potential nesters.

Location of the nest box requires a six metre high placement, preferably up the trunk of a mature tree - in a quiet, dense wooded area.

Buy a wild bird box sold for small common garden birds only, but you can alter the entrance hole if its indeed too small. If the entrance hole is set wider then 32mm, then simply use an entrance hole metal plate to re-size it.

Nuthatches use nest boxes

Nuthatches prefer a nest in the wild that can resemble that of a wooden nest box with a large entrance hole - as Nuthatches use a cavity in a tree trunk.

The woodpecker-like small common bird would happily nest in a bird box for small birds, providing it has a standard 32mm rounded entrance hole.

Enclosed wooden nest box should do it then but it must be sited in the garden, in a high up placement - or else it could deter Nuthatches rather than encourage them to nest.

However, a garden on a wooded tree line or within dense woodlands is going to see success - as they decide to nest up high in a tree or at least up a large bush or hedgerow.

Its therefore possible to use a nest box for a Nuthatch, but you won't get to see it being used on a regular basis.

For most of us, we don't get to see Nuthatches very often or not at all, unless we are on the outskirts of the woods.

Standard bird design

Bird boxes for use by a Nuthatch is not anything special, nor does it have to be so unique it requires a special kind of wooden nest box for this bird species to nest in.

In fact, simply making a nest box with a square shape or classic longer box would do it, but again it must be located within a wooded area.

Buy a bird box advertised for small birds but with a 32mm entrance hole only.

It could be a wooden bird box that has a larger hole size, but that can be changed if using an entrance hole plate.

Standard bird box it may be, but as it happens Nuthatches like to alter their hole by plastering mud around it - so your box won't stay brand new for long.

This small common British bird uses any size nest box, but surprisingly uses a larger than normal hole size.

32mm entrance hole size

What size entrance hole for a Nuthatch is always 32mm, in a rounded shape but must never be smaller - as the Nuthatch won't use it to nest.

And while the hole size of 32mm can cater for more common birds, its unlikely you'd see other birds take it up because again, Nuthatches prefer a nest box that is placed in a wooded location... not a place a typical garden bird would nest.

Nuthatches do nest in all kinds of bird boxes but this entrance hole must be unique.

As it happens you can see a Nuthatch nest in a box that uses an entrance hole that is only a few millimetres larger or smaller - but its best to play it safe with a box that only uses a 32mm hole size.

In anticipation of setting up a nest box for Nuthatch, but with a hole size too small, then drill it out to 32mm.

Whereas if you are in possession of a nest box with a hole size larger, you can still give it a go but you do have the option to cover it with a metal entrance hole plate in a 32mm setting.

Free-rein over location

Where to site a bird box for a Nuthatch is not like setting up a location for attracting other common garden birds to nest, such as a robin or tits.

In fact, as Nuthatches are commonly see across much of England, its only those gardens that are within close proximity to woodlands that will see nesting Nuthatches.

You may get away with it if you are close to a tree line or a handful of tree's outside your property line - but it is harder to see them nest in your garden.

Buy a bird box with a 32mm entrance hole to begin the process of giving it a go.

Then fix your bird box up a tall tree that is out of direct sunlight, but in a more densely wooded area with plenty of shade.

To fix the bird box to a tree you'd need to wrap a metal wire around the tree trunk.

But there is an option to hang a bird box in a tree but you'd need to make sure the nest box is pressed firmly up against the tree trunk as to prevent it moving.

Up to a whopping 6 metres up the bird box must be then, but higher up the better.

Buy Nuthatch box or modify

Nuthatches use bird boxes that are widely available to buy, so anyone would be within their needs - so any old bird box would do it.

But allow me to recommend what is referred to as a woodcrete bird box. Design of this box is very unique but its made more for hanging up or fixed to a tree trunk.

It is created with a cement and wood epoxy but the colour allows it to blend in with its natural surroundings - just the thing to keep Nuthatches safe.

In time this nest box would age in such a way the weathering effect would blend in with the tree bark, with any possibility of moss growing on it.

Not many classic wooden bird boxes you can buy offer an entrance hole of 32mm, which is needed for a Nuthatch, but look to RSPB bird boxes that mostly use a 32mm hole size.

In failing that, it shouldn't be too hard to alter the bird box yourself by drilling.

Providing your can access the bird box come the end of the nesting season to clean it out - that is the most important thing if you plan on re-using it.

To summarise

Nuthatches certainly do use nest boxes, and it can be one that is made for any common garden bird, only the location is a but more tricky.

However, providing it has a 32mm entrance hole would be a vital piece in the jigsaw.

You can setup a nest box of any shape or size providing it uses this hole size. But for many of us to see a Nuthatch nesting in the wooden nest box is a rare one, as you must be located near a large tree line or woodlands.

Nuthatches prefer their nest be setup up on a tree trunk up to 6 metres high, so as you can imagine - that is not something most of us can cater too.

But to still go for it you must make sure the location of the bird box offers plenty of shade and is never in direct sunlight - along with southerly winds.

Buy a bird box for a Nuthatch designed for any garden bird, but make it a 32mm hole.

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