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Bird boxes

How long do your boxes last? I put one up a couple of years ago and have had to change it because it is rotting. Has anyone tried the woodcrete? ones. I looked them up a while ago and thought they were extremely expensive, but maybe in the long run, they would work out cheaper or equal to constantly buying wooden ones.
When I emptied the rotten one I found a tit nest with 2 unhatched eggs inside. I knew the birds had hatched one brood and had started a second, was the heat wave last year too much for them?
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  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    I think @wild edges has good experience of the woodcrete ones. He'll certainly be able to advise generally about the various types. He has lots of experience.

    The heat might well have been a problem. We have the opposite problem quite often, as the chicks can easily get swept away in rough wet weather, especially blue tits. They usually only have one brood here as they start later. That may change as the climate alters though.  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,462
    Most of mine are woodcrete. I usually buy them when I have a discount code or they're on sale but I've also had a few for good prices on eBay. I put the first ones up in 2014 to replace some wooden ones that were warping and there's no sign of wear on them yet. I think I've got about 20 of them in various places now and never had a problem with any of them. I use Schwegler ones but the prices of those have gone through the roof since Brexit because they're all imported but Vivara Pro make very similar ones now that are decent prices if you can get a discount code.
    Unhatched eggs are very common. I always find a few every season whether it's been good weather or not.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • The local tits are already eyeing up possible nest sites and the robins have started their annual fights along the bank between my garden and the field. It has been a territory line ever since I moved here, and probably millennia before that. My neighbours young daughter has hung bunches of chicken feathers up as nesting material, haven't seen any takers yet. Still a bit early.
  • Most of mine are woodcrete. I usually buy them when I have a discount code or they're on sale but I've also had a few for good prices on eBay. I put the first ones up in 2014 to replace some wooden ones that were warping and there's no sign of wear on them yet. I think I've got about 20 of them in various places now and never had a problem with any of them. I use Schwegler ones but the prices of those have gone through the roof since Brexit because they're all imported but Vivara Pro make very similar ones now that are decent prices if you can get a discount code.
    Unhatched eggs are very common. I always find a few every season whether it's been good weather or not.
    I will keep an eye out for some woodcrete boxes. I did wonder if they got very hot inside during hot weather. Most of my boxes are on a South facing fence, with nowhere else to put them.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    The site might be the biggest problem @Joyce Goldenlily. The boxes will certainly get hot.
    I slightly misunderstood your post - I thought you'd said there were dead chicks, not the eggs. Not sure how I got that - think I was skipping to the next line and 2+2 made 6!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,502

    I will keep an eye out for some woodcrete boxes. I did wonder if they got very hot inside during hot weather. Most of my boxes are on a South facing fence, with nowhere else to put them.
    I don't think the woodcrete get overly hot; they are made with cement with sawdust, I think, which insulates.  Tit boxes should be sited on E or N facing walls unless the site get a lot of shade. They are very good and long lasting.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,260
    I add a waterproof lid over the original wood ones and they seem to last far far longer. I do make the boxes myself but it's with non treated wood. 


    We get lots of great tits nesting and we had two chicks that didn't make it to fledging this year and one last year but they do have really large broods, three years and go I counted 13 at one time after they had just left the box.  
  • I made various boxes from plywood offcuts that I didn't treat - the ones exposed to rain lasted about 2 years (the great tits used one). One other not exposed to rain is doing fine. I bought a woodcrete one last autumn and the birds are hopping in and out of it having a look around recently, it looks good and will last much longer than wood.

    The south facing position for yours will be a problem though, just too hot in summer (might be ok in spring though). Can you use any other location or get some planting in front of the boxes to shade them?

    Bear in mind some birds are territorial as well. The blue tits in our garden nest in a box next door so will not allow any other blue tits nearby (and shout at a lot of other birds too). Robins are territorial as well. Sparrows stay in a very small area all their life so don't tend to adventure outwards from where they are used to.

    Birds apparently tend not to nest near feeders as well as with all the other birds going to and fro it is too exposed and stressful, especially if there are big birds like magpies around. Having said that the only bird box I have had used was by the great tits and it is right near the feeders! I have magpies, crows, jays etc there as well! The woodcrete could be an advantage here as well as it protects the chicks from predators including bigger birds trying to get into the box to eat them.
  • It does depend on:
    Who makes them.
    How well they are made.
    What they are made of.
    Where they are situated.

    I make my own from an exterior grade hardwood with a piece of lead sheet on the roof, then put them on a wall out of the wind and sun so they last a long time.
    I've made er, 'Gothic charm' bird feeders too from steel which last well. Whilst they're pretty exclusive, they aren't cheap either.

    Some £10 box from Wilco or a car boot sale won't last very long.
  • UffUff Posts: 3,199
    @wild edges I need to replace about 4 of my wooden ones this year and I'm leaning towards the Vivara Pro ones. May I ask what the benefit of oval holes rather than round ones are and where do you usually find the discount code please?
    SW SCOTLAND but born in Derbyshire
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