BTO Nestbox Guide

Nestbox guide

The latest BTO Nestbox Guide, published in 2004, contains instructions on how to build artificial nest sites for 24 different species. 

The latest edition differs from the previous one, published in 1993. Whereas the 1993 edition gave brief accounts of all known artificial nest site designs, the 2004 edition focuses on species that are known to take to artifical sites and gives expanded accounts of successful designs for those species. Because the 1993 guide covers a broader range of species, though in less detail, it has been made available as a free PDF download (PDF, 2.46 MB) to supplement the latest edition.

The table below lists all species that are known have used artificial sites and tells you which guide has information about them. Where a species is covered in the 1993 guide only, the page number of the PDF download is given.

English NameScientific NameType of BoxInformation available
Barn OwlTyto albaLarge hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Bearded TitPanurus biarmicusWigwam (special design)Not yet included
Black Guillemot (Tystie)Cepphus grylleTunnel26
Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigricollisRaft/islandNot yet included
Black RedstartPhoenicurus ochrurosSmall open fronted31
Black-throated DiverGavia arcticaRaft/island21
BlackbirdTurdus merulaPlatform31
Blue TitParus caeruleusSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Canada GooseBranta canadensisRaft/island22
Coal TitParus aterSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Common TernSterna hirundoRaft/island26
CootFulica atraRaft/island25
Crested TitParus cristatusSmall hole entrance32
DipperCinclus cinclusSmall open fronted31
Feral PigeonColumba liviaLarge hole entrance27
GoldeneyeBucephala clangulaLarge hole entrance23
GoosanderMergus merganserLarge hole entrance24
GoshawkAccipiter gentilisBasket24
Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatusRaft/island21
Great Northern DiverGavia immerRaft/island21
Great Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos majorMedium hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Great TitParus majorSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Green WoodpeckerPicus viridisMedium hole entrance29
Grey WagtailMotacilla cinereaSmall open fronted30
Greylag GooseAnser anserRaft/island22
HobbyFalco subbuteoBasket24
HoopoeUpupa epopsMedium hole entranceNot yet included
House MartinDelichon urbicaSpecialLatest BTO Guide
House SparrowPasser domesticusSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
JackdawCorvus monedulaLarge hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
KestrelFalco tinnunculusLatest BTO Guide 
KingfisherAlcedo atthisTunnel28
KittiwakeRissa tridactylaPlatform25
Lesser Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos minorMedium hole entrance29
Little OwlAthene noctuaLarge hole entrance27
Little TernSterna albifronsPlatform26
Long-eared OwlAsio otusBasket28
MallardAnas platyrhynchosLarge hole entrance23
MandarinAix galericulataLarge hole entrance23
Manx ShearwaterPuffinus puffinusTunnel22
Marsh TitParus palustrisSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
MerlinFalco columbariusBasket24
MoorhenGallinula chloropusRaft/island25
Mute SwanCygnus olorRaft/island22
NightjarCaprimulgus europaeusScrape28
NuthatchSitta europaeaSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
OspreyPandion haliaetusBasket24
OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegusPlatformNot yet included
PeregrineFalco peregrinusPlatform24
Pied FlycatcherFicedula hypoleucaSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Pied WagtailMotacilla albaSmall open frontLatest BTO Guide
PuffinFratercula arcticaTunnel22
Red-breasted MerganserMergus serratorTunnel24
Red KiteMilvus milvusBasket24
Red-throated DiverGavia stellataRaft/island21
RedstartPhoenicurus phoenicurusSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Ring-necked ParakeetPsittacula krameriLarge hole entrance27
RobinErithacus rubeculaSmall open frontLatest BTO Guide
Roseate TernSterna dougalliiTunnel25
Sand MartinRiparia ripariaTunnel30
Short-toed TreecreeperCerthia brachydactylaSpecial small hole entranceNot yet included
ShelduckTadorna tadornaTunnel22
Slavonian GrebePodiceps auritusRaft/islandNot yet included
Spotted FlycatcherMuscicapa striataSmall open frontLatest BTO Guide
StarlingSturnus vulgarisMedium hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Stock DoveColumba oenasLarge hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Storm PetrelHydrobates pelagicusTunnel22
SwallowHirundo rusticaOpen cupLatest BTO Guide
SwiftApus apusSpecial hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Tawny OwlStrix alucoLarge hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
Tree SparrowPasser montanusSmall hole entranceLatest BTO Guide
TreecreeperCerthia familiarisSpecial small hole entrance32
WheatearOenanthe oenantheTunnel31
Willow TitParus montanusSmall hole entrance32
Wood DuckAix sponsaLarge hole entranceNot yet included
WrenTroglodytes troglodytesSmall open frontLatest BTO Guide
WryneckJynx torquillaMedium hole entrance29
Download a PDF of the 1993 BTO Nest Box Guide here (PDF, 2.46 MB) .