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Bird boxes setup close by on tree

How far apart should bird boxes be

Its possible to setup multiple bird boxes in your garden but how far part should you site boxes plays an important role if you're tobe successful getting birds to nest.

How far part should bird boxes be depends greatly on species. Sparrows use colony boxes so therefore can be touching, well Tits are territorial so nowhere near each other. If setting up a bird box, attract very different species where they require a very different box with entrance hole.

When setting up multiple boxes, before considering how far apart they should be, make sure they're sited in suitable spots and away from predators.

If we consider the rule of which way you should face bird box; its always north/east, and anywhere in between.

However, the rules change ever so slightly when you setup many bird boxes within the confines of your garden.

Well all bird boxes should be facing the same direction, shaded gardens with sheltered areas make ideal places to site a bird box.

In doing so the bird boxes could end up facing one another. Its this you don't want to happen as the located becomes almost identical.

To avoid any mix up, if boxes must face each other make sure the setup is in completely different locations, as to stop the mamma and papa bird arriving on the wrong box.

When setting up multiple bird boxes for different species; location of box requirement, entrance hole design and size needs to be as different as possible.

Never setup up multiple boxes with in touching distance when its for use with the same member of say the Tit family.

Locating bird boxes in your garden can be difficult to get a birds to roost, let alone nest.

Siting more than one bird box may decrease your chances of getting a bird to settle as most are territorial, so therefore live in solitude.

Can you put bird boxes near each other

There're circumstances when you can put bird boxes near each another, and that's only if you're attracting completely different species.

Species of all wild birds can be extremely territorial so therefore it could turn nasty if setting up your bird boxes wrong.

With that in mind - and making sure boxes always face north/east - keep a distance of about 20 feet or more, a shorter distance may confuse who's box belongs to whom.

Bird boxes for Tits usually start at an entrance hole of 25mm, with a larger hole suitable for sparrows or larger, unwanted birds.

If you're to setup boxes near each other, we would recommend only doing so to attract different species, rather than encourage all birds to a one size fits all box.

If setting up bird boxes for multiple species, make it so each box design varies hugely; including where its sited (higher or lower) and the entrance hole shape and size.

Distance between bird boxes

Like we've previously mentioned, if setting up multiple bird boxes for a single species, then 20 feet or more should be significant.

Single species may be family members, but they're all territorial so would end up in a scrap if birds come to close.

If setting up a bird box for other wild birds, such as Starlings, then the 20 feet distance may also be enough.

If your garden is a small one then setting up more than one bird box may not apply to you.

Use common sense as wild birds when nesting become territorial, so forcing birds to setup near each other may bring problems later on - and especially a lot of noise.

Location of bird boxes vary between 2-5 metres high, well taking into consideration if its fixed under the house eaves, in plantation, a tree or in creepers.

If setting up a box that needs a very specific position, and you afford to setup in all types of locations, then do so.

Colony nesting boxes

Did you know sparrows are colony nesting birds, so therefore they're happy to nest with other sparrows in as close proximity as possible.

So close in fact that there're colony bird boxes you can buy, which means they're all in one box with up to three separate compartments, used for three Sparrow nesting pairs.

All colony boxes are located side by side but there are designs that very greatly.

If setting up multiple bird boxes close to each other, go one better by making sure they are actually touching and tightly pushed up against one another.

If you have a bird box with 28mm entrance hole, this is a hole size required by sparrows.

Its one thing bringing in multiple bird boxes with a 28mm hole, but is would make sense to use a purpose made, colony bird box with up to three entrance holes at 28mm wide.

Not within sight of bird feeders

Setting up bird boxes should not be within sight of the hanging bird feeder or table under no circumstances.

If birds can feed in direct sight of the bird box then this may encourage the more predatory birds to hop over to the box.

Here they may steel the eggs or harass the birds within.

Likewise, birds in sight of the bird box entrance hole may become a problem for the extremely territorial bird that is nesting in the box.

They're unlikely to take on multiple birds or the one, but being territorial they will become loud, nosier than normal with other birds within touching distance.

That applies to all bird boxes you've setup, well they should not face each other, be to close; they should not be in line of sight of the feeders.

Setup boxes for different species

When it comes to setting up a box for a Robin or Wren, the design of the box is very different, and so is the entrance hole to boxes for Tits and Sparrows.

If setting multiple bird boxes for attracting Robins, location is important as its lower down and set back in dense plantation.

Its unlikely more than one spot would be suitable for more Robin bird boxes so only use the one setup.

This would make it extremely easier if you're indeed setting up a Robin/Wren box to then setup a completely different box intended for say a Tit.

Wild birds that lives in bird boxes that use round entrance holes will never attempt to use a Robin box, and as the box position varies differently, you shouldn't have any issues.

If you want to setup more than one bird box in your garden, we would recommend making sure it attracts two very different species, and if the box design is different.


So there you have it, don't be tempted to setup identical bird boxes unless you're attracting only sparrows to nest.

If you want to attract Tits then only use a bird box designed for small garden birds, well the other box should be designed very differently, where another species can nest.

How far apart you site bird boxes don't matter unless you take care of the location that is required by birds, height off ground and whether its facing north/east, out of sunlight.

If you must setup multiple bird boxes to attract all types of birds, or members of the same family; further apart the better, but try to start with 20 feet or more.

Setting up two or more boxes needs to be as far apart as possible, well setting up one in the back or front garden, or around the corner on the side of the house.

That way bird boxes could be setup much closer, but in very different locations.

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