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New to Nest Boxes - Hole Size (1 Viewer)

Joe94

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Good morning all,

So for the first time, now my feeders are up and thriving, I’m going to put nest boxes up & am planning to make them this weekend using plans from rspb website, however I have a question regarding hole size...

So I read most advise a 25mm hole size for say blue tits, but then a slightly larger size of 28mm for house sparrows; both of which species we have flying around.. my question is does such a small difference in hole size really matter? Essentially i have looked and only have a 28mm hole cutter, if I was to just put two boxes up with 28mm is there a chance the blue tits may still use one or do they really know the difference between the two sizes?

Hope this isn’t a silly question aha but wanted to be sure :)

Many thanks.
 

Kits

Picture Picker
There’s probably a chance that sparrows might use both boxes! I am no expert but it seems unlikely that a blue tit would be able to realise that the hole is 3 mm too big. Good luck!
 

Joe94

Well-known member
United Kingdom
There’s probably a chance that sparrows might use both boxes! I am no expert but it seems unlikely that a blue tit would be able to realise that the hole is 3 mm too big. Good luck!
Thank you Kits, I your right actually and I supposed there is a chance the sparrows could also use the smaller hole aha, so I think it’s just a case of putting them up and seeing what happens :)

I must say I also agree I don’t thing the birds would know the difference bless them aha.

Thanks for your support :)
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Some birds can be very particular about the hole size and go for one that the adults can just squeeze through. However, if they otherwise like the position, what some species will do is make the hole size smaller by fixing mud to the edges. Others, may peck at the edges to make it bigger.

I'm not sure where Blue Tits and House Sparrows are in relation to this behaviour though.
 

Joe94

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Some birds can be very particular about the hole size and go for one that the adults can just squeeze through. However, if they otherwise like the position, what some species will do is make the hole size smaller by fixing mud to the edges. Others, may peck at the edges to make it bigger.

I'm not sure where Blue Tits and House Sparrows are in relation to this behaviour though.
Thank you Delia, very interesting indeed. I think as I say, ill go with it and see what happens :) It will be quite interesting I think!
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Thank you Delia, very interesting indeed. I think as I say, ill go with it and see what happens :) It will be quite interesting I think!
Indeed it will Joe. Please take notes and report back on the results.
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
We have found that Great Tits bully the Blue Tits away from nest boxes with 28mm holes - but they can’t get in a 25mm one.

An easy way to adjust the hole size is to use a plate like these - they protect against squirrels and woodpeckers too. I make mine from local welsh slate using a cheap diamond hole saw. 👍

 
Thank you Delia, very interesting indeed. I think as I say, ill go with it and see what happens :) It will be quite interesting I think!
Hi Guys,

For the last 6 weeks now, our male blue tit has been vigorously pecking away at the existing hole in the box, he has managed to turn it from round to square! The box must be made out of quite soft wood............and he is still not happy with the size, as it seems to be getting bigger by the day..........
He's constantly either inside the box pecking away at the square hole or perching on the outside........................it really is quite large.
Surely no female will be interested in this?
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Jane... just wanted to ask - how do you tell the sexes apart in Blue Tits?

I can often do it with Great Tits (the width of the vertical black stripe down their belly), but have never been able to see any differences with Blue Tits and Coal Tits.
 
Hi Jane... just wanted to ask - how do you tell the sexes apart in Blue Tits?

I can often do it with Great Tits (the width of the vertical black stripe down their belly), but have never been able to see any differences with Blue Tits and Coal Tits.
Hi Delia,

To be honest with you I am guessing it's a male.............I thought it was the male that behaved like this.................and they were the ones to site a nest box first and start all this pecking around the hole. Since they have been doing this, I have not seen any sign of another blue tit go near this box.
The blue tit is frequently calling, sitting in our hawthorn hedge, mostly early morning and then late afternoon.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Delia,

To be honest with you I am guessing it's a male.............I thought it was the male that behaved like this.................and they were the ones to site a nest box first and start all this pecking around the hole. Since they have been doing this, I have not seen any sign of another blue tit go near this box.
The blue tit is frequently calling, sitting in our hawthorn hedge, mostly early morning and then late afternoon.
Aaaah!! Gotcha Jane. That's interesting. You could very well be right. Sadly I don't get the opportunity to see their nesting behaviour here... they only avail themselves of the food I buy!!! LOL
 

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