How to build a bird box for house sparrows
Where have all the sparrows gone? It's hard to imagine that this once common British bird is in serious decline in some parts of the country, particularly in London. Nationally there has been a 50% fall in sparrow numbers since 1979.
Sparrows often nest under the eaves of houses but many modern houses are not 'sparrow friendly'. This bird box will help reverse the decline.
Sparrows are gregarious birds. This home made nest box uses 12mm exterior plywood and will accommodate up to three breeding pairs of house sparrows.
A cutting plan can be found and printed by clicking here. Picture 1, above, shows what looks basically like a book rack, with 3 separate compartments. A roof overhang at the sides and front (picture 2) helps to help keep the interior dry. The small batten part way up the side gives the young birds a chance for a peek at the outside world before making that all important first flight. Waterproof wood glue and number 4 brass screws were used to secure the panels. The front is fixed with screws only, to enable the box to be cleaned out at the end of the season.
The 32 mm holes accommodate house sparrows, tree sparrows and nuthatches. Keep the hole near the roof to deter predators and drill a couple of small holes in the base of each compartment to keep the nest dry. Water-based wood stain can be used to enhance and protect the nest box, but on the outside of the box only. Try also to keep any preservative away from the entrance hole. Fenceguard and Sadolin Classic are recommended by the manufacturers as being suitable products. Cuprinol TimberCare (for use on rough sawn timber) is also safe to birds when dry.