Damson Cottage Garden

Make a Sparrow Terrace

Our garden would be nothing without birdsong. It is the soundtrack to our garden and makes it feel alive. I am always looking for ways to encourage more birds into the garden and hopefully this sparrow terrace will do just that. I┬álove sparrows – my parents’ garden is bordered with a snowberry hedge which is home to dozens of them. They are so captivating to watch – we often stand at the kitchen window and watch them hopping about on the lawn.

Unfortunately these little fellows are on the RSPB red list, which means there has been at least a 50% reduction in their population over the past 25 years. This is because of a decline in insects for them to eat and a lack of nesting sites. To give them a hand in our garden I decided to build a sparrow terrace. This is essentially a box with compartments for different sparrow families. Sparrows are sociable critters and like to nest in large groups, hence the different compartments.

Sparrow terrace

To make this sparrow box you need 2 planks of wood – one 185 x 10 cm, one 130 x 15 cm, wood glue, screws/nails, drill, slate or roofing felt for the roof. I cut wood for the roof of the sparrow box, as shown in the diagrams below, but decided to use a slate for the roof instead.

Cut your planks as shown below:

Dimensions of wood to make a sparrow terrace

The blue numbers are the lengths of each piece of wood in centimetres. The top plank is 15cm wide and the bottom plank is 10cm wide.

This is the arrangement for the box.

Dimensions of wood to make a sparrow terrace

Make holes in the front panel – 32mm diameter is the perfect size for sparrows (according to RSPB).

32mm holes for sparrow box

I used wood glue and screws to join my pieces together.

How to make a sparrow terrace

Attach some pieces of wood to the back of the box to hang it from. I used wood glue, screws and nails to hold it in place.

Wood battens attached to the back to hang the sparrow box

Add your roof. If you want to use wood you will need to use wood glue to join the two pieces together and wrap them in roofing felt to make sure the sparrows stay dry. I used a slate with two holes to attach it with screws to the body of the box. This means I can clean out the box once a year after the sparrows have finished with it.

How to make a sparrow house

How to make a sparrow box

Its best to attach your sparrow terrace high up on the side of your house, a tall wall or a strong tree facing east. This stops the chicks from getting too hot or cold.

You dont have to be a carpenter to make these boxes, as i’m sure you can tell I am certainly not! The birds are used to nesting in holes in old buildings and hedgerows so won’t mind if your angles aren’t exactly 90 degrees and there are gaps! Go on, have a go!! Jane

One Response to Make a Sparrow Terrace

  1. Steve says:

    Had a walk in the woods behind the Bowes Museum and saw not only lots of bird boxes but also bat boxes with slits instead if circular holes. Interestingly, the bat boxes faced in the opposite direction to the bird boxes.

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