This video will teach you a simple woodworking project for making a bird box for housemartins with your children.
For more great projects to teach children to respect wildlife in a fun and interactive way, why not take a look at some of the other animal shelters in our programme?
One of several birdhouse tutorials in our series, this video will take you through everything you need to know to build a bird box for housemartins to help you promote biodiversity at home with your family.
Voice-over by volunteer Mollie Keane
Welcoming biodiversity into your home
Making a bird box for housemartins
In this video you will learn how to make a bird box for housemartins.
To make the bird box you will need:
a rough plank of wood, mud, water, straw, galvanised anti-rust screws, and dowels suitable for supporting your box.
You will also need:
a clamp, a tape measure, a pencil, a try-square, a saw, a basin, a drill, a drill bit suitable for supporting the box and a ladder.
In this example, we will make a bird box and the beginnings of a mud nest, to which the birds will attach their own.
Measure and cut 2 planks with 20-centimetre sides and another with sides of approximately 22 by 20 centimetres. Depending on the thickness of your initial plank, you may need to adjust the length of the third plank slightly.
Assemble the pieces to form a half-open cuboid.
Your housemartin bird box is finished! Now you just need to hang it.
Place it on the overhang of a roof, or in the corner of a window at least 2.5 metres above the ground. Drill the necessary holes then place the dowels and attach the bird box.
Consider the positioning! The opening should be directed south or south-east, but never north into the prevailing wind.
You can make the beginnings of a nest to make your bird box more welcoming to housemartins. To do this, mix some mud with a bit of straw.
The mud shouldn't be too liquid, but more a sticky paste. Adjust the consistency with a bit of water if needed.
Now shape it into small balls.
Stick them together in the box to form a small bowl shape- this is the start of the nest.
This project should be completed outside the housemartin nesting period, which lasts from March to the end of August in the UK. That way broods will not be disturbed.