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Colourful nesting boxes hanging up high on tree branches

Nest box HEIGHT from FLOOR guide

Up to twenty-three wild bird species have the potential to nest in your garden, so to pick the average height off the ground could cater to more birds.

Nest boxes should be located off the ground up to 2 to 3 metres low at most, while going up to 4 metres is the maximum for many. Nest box height from floor is a guide only, so you can fix it as high or low as you want, but within reason. While a few wild bird species would only nest in a bird box at a certain height.

Setting up a bird box for small birds only is what most people in the UK would want to know - how high the nest box should be off the ground.

And your in luck, because on average its the lowest setting to the ground, making life a little easier when you are responsible for setting up a wooden bird box.

As low as 2 to 3 metres is within reason, but that is still 6 to 8 feet if you didn't know.

With that in mind you'd need a step of some kind or a ladder so the bird box is accessible to you always - as its crucial to clean the bird box once in a while so you'd need to reach the bird box to bring it down.

Most people at this height would fix a bird box to a fence post or brick wall, but the real winner is the brickwork of the house - which is the only real building that can offer the much needed height.

Height is important because its going to be a reflection of how wild birds build their nests in nature - high up in a tree, or low down in a hedgerow - so you'd be replicating real conditions.

Other issues to overcome before settling on a height, would be making sure the bird box is facing the correct way, to be sure its not facing the sun or strong westerly winds.

Nest box recommended height table

Bird: Height in Metres:
Barn Owl 4 to 8
Blackbird 2
Blue Tit 2 to 4
Coal Tit 2 to 4
Great Tit 2 to 4
House Martin 2 to 8
House Sparrow 4 to 8
Jackdaw 4 to 8
Kestrel 3 to 4
Marsh Tits 2 to 4
Nuthatch 4 to 6
Pied Flycatchers 2 to 4
Pied Wagtail 2 to 4
Robin 2
Starling 4 to 8
Spotted Flycatcher 4 to 6
Stock Doves 2 to 4
Swallow 3 to 4
Swifts 4 to 6
Tawny Owl 3 to 4
Tree Sparrow 3 to 8
Woodpecker 3 to 5
Wren 2
Left column lists the wild bird species the nest box is intended for; Right column is a recommending height of the bird box off the ground, measured in metres.

I don't believe I've missed out any common garden birds on my table above, as its a reflection on what birds you can set up a bird box for.

Be it in your garden or on a rarer occasion, out in nature such as woodlands.

Height in metres column demonstrates the average height a nesting box can be fixed off the ground.

Depending on your setup in the garden, you'd need to prioritise a lower bird box over say a nesting box that must be fixed higher up, far beyond your reach.

Take my height off the ground as a guide only, as there's certainly room for error by siting a bird box a feet or two more or less either way.

Reflection of nest in nature

To site a bird box to a height that is recommended in my chart, its a realistic reflection to how high a certain bird species would build their nest in nature.

And while not hitting the mark every time, its as real as it can be.

Bird boxes generally are a little lower to reflect the person who is responsible for fixing it, so a tall person would generally site it higher up.

Not a problem mind you as wild birds would still respond positively too it.

Once you've managed to locate the nest box to the recommended height, all you need to do now is get that positioning on point.

Only if its accessible

While an average 2 to 4 metres is recommended for most common garden birds nest box height - that is indeed very high up the wall.

If you don't know already, that is up to 14 feet off the ground if you could believe it.

So as you can imagine that's as high has a natural birds nest would be up in a tree.

However, to site a bird box in your garden would entail a lower position overall, as our British gardens don't allow for such high structures.

Solution to that would be up high on the brick wall or decor of your houses, which would probably be the safest location.

That would mostly relate to bird boxes related to House Sparrows, Jackdaw, House Martin and Starlings only.

Lowest height in common

While a next box height from floor of the garden would be an estimation only, that is certainly not to say you won't be successful or discouraging wild birds to nest.

Lowest height as outlined in my chart above is on average only, so there's room for error.

Up to ten wild bird species who use next boxes would in fact be happy to settle in a bird box that is only as much as 2 metres off the ground - that is only 6 feet high, so not very high at all.

And while a recommended height of 3 metres relates to wild birds who are harder to attract to your garden, or prefer to nest in woodlands, is still within reason.

But the highest you can set a nest box in your garden that is still quite low is 4 metres, which is fantastic because it corresponds to birds you want to nest in your garden.

Safe average height

On average, you would want to set a bird nesting box at a height of 3 metres only, that way you can attract as many potential tenants as possible.

You can reach up to 17 wild bird species who may use your bird box, while its not uncommon to receive a few unexpected occupants.

Safe average height then to site a birdhouse height from ground would be 3 metres up, so up to 9 feet high overall.

Low average height it certainly is but it still isn't as low in terms of accessibility is it?

So in siting a bird box make sure its possible to use a step of some kind or better still, a ladder.

Remember, you'd need to clean out the bird box so you will need easy access to the interior of the box, or within reach to lift the nest box off its fixing.

Higher up under eaves

If you were to exceed the recommended height by fixing a bird box to its highest setting, do note at this height is level or above a second floor window.

Fantastic it you want to be absolutely sure the wild bird box is setting up in the safest possible location - but again there's a drawback with it being beyond your reach.

Great to keep predators away, but a problem for the human carer that's for sure.

Instead, only focus on setting up a bird box as high as 4 to 8 metres if its easily accessible to you.

That is because 8 metres is a whopping 26 feet, while 4 metres is obviously half that - but still very high up the wall of a house or building.

Prioritise the height as much as this from the floor for a bird box that is reserved for a Barn Owl, House Martins and Starlings - who may prefer to only nest so high up.

Nest box height summary

Listed height is a recommendation only, so to fix a bird box outside this height could still see success, or no success at all.

Nest boxes situated in the garden are usually a reflection of the height a bird would be built out in nature - up a tree or lower down in a shrub.

Most common nest box height from floor would be 2 to 4 metres, so that is quite high in terms of being accessible to you.

Lowest height setting of 2 to 3 metres is a possibility, but only if the wild birds who come to your garden can nest in a safe environment - safe from pets or squirrels.

Higher recommendations can be avoided for many bird species, but certain birds only nest higher up, under the eaves of the house roof.

Refer to my bird house height from ground table guide above to better understand where exactly you should locate your bird box.

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