• 1 Karkloof Road, Howick
  • 033-330-3036
  • 1 Karkloof Road, Howick
  • 033-330-3036

Bird Box Project

Many cavity nesting bird species are dependent on old indigenous forests and woodlands with dead and decaying trees for their housing and feeding requirements. The soft bark and pulp of these old trees make them ideal locations for the excavation of cavity nests, and as hunting grounds for the burrowing insect prey using them for shelter and housing for their grubs.

However, in most modern gardens old, dead, and decaying trees are safety hazards, with the consequence that old branches, and even whole trees are cut down before they are at risk of falling and destroying property. This makes it difficult to attract cavity nesting species to the average suburban garden.

While some gardens are large enough to allow for the safe accommodation of old trees with natural cavities, another way of working around this is to provide cavity nesting bird species with artificial nest boxes.

Nest boxes come in a wide variety of sizes and designs, each created to attract specific species of cavity nesting birds, making it very difficult for the average environmentally minded gardener to know which design would work best.
Our boxes come in a range of three sizes (small, medium, and large) in an effort to accommodate as many of our indigenous cavity nesting birds as possible. Much thought has gone into their design, with the added benefit of ‘monkey proof’ barriers within the box that will protect the mother bird, her eggs, and chicks from all but the most dexterous and determined primate predators.

Not all nest boxes are suitable for all species. It is difficult to design a single box that will accommodate all species. Below is a rough guideline of which size nesting box would be suitable for which cavity nesting bird species


Small Nesting Box 

Barbets and Tinkerbirds – These are mainly fruit eaters with large robust bills designed to dig cavities in dead wood for roosting and breeding. The Black-collared Barbet and Crested Barbet are common garden birds, with the Crested Barbet often seen feeding on the ground. The Red-fronted Tinkerbird and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird are often found in coastal forest belts where their distinctive repetitive trilling calls can be heard. Other small bird species such as Tits, Flycatchers, Sparrows and Finches have also been recorded using nest boxes, and the small nesting box design will suit these species too


Pricing (inclusive of VAT):

Box and DIY Installation Kit (to be collected) – R483

Box and DIY Installation Kit sent via Courier – R540.50 (plus courier fee)


Medium Nesting Box

Woodpeckers – The most specifically designed of the cavity nesters, Woodpecker species can often be located by following the drumming sound of their hardened beaks on wood. Woodpeckers use their specially designed beaks to drill cavities for nesting, as well as hammering off bark and probing for invertebrate prey. The more commonly found garden species; Golden-tailed, Cardinal and Olive all have distinctive red crowns, but while the Golden-tailed and Cardinal have heavily patterned bodies and wings, the Olive displays more solid coloration. Hoopoes – The Hoopoes, Wood-hoopoes and Scimitarbills are all invertebrate eating cavity nesters. The Green Wood-hoopoe is a common resident in woodland thicket and forest edges and can be seen and heard in noisy family groups clambering on tree trunks and probing for insect prey. The African Hoopoe by comparison is usually seen alone or in pairs and can often be found probing the ground of neatly manicured lawns in search of burrowing insect prey. Starlings and Kingfishers have on occasion also been recorded to use nest boxes, and the medium box design is suitable for these species too.


Pricing (inclusive of VAT):

Box and DIY Installation Kit (to be collected) – R592.25

Box and DIY Installation Kit sent via courier – R649.75 (plus courier fee)


Large Nesting Box

Parrots – While the invasive Ring-necked Parakeet is a well-known cavity nester, this is not the parrot species that should be encouraged in the suburban garden as they can aggressively out-compete native birds. The endangered Cape Parrot on the other hand, is a species worth encouraging through the installation of nest boxes, particularly in areas where these parrots occur. The Cape Parrot is a large, green bird with red wrists and leggings. They are usually seen in small family groups as they come into orchards to feed on the fruit. Other species that are likely to use the large nesting boxes are the three small cavity nesting owl species – the Barred Owl, Pear-Spotted Owl and African Scops Owl, as well as possibly the Lilac-breasted and Purple Rollers, although these insect eating birds are usually found in savanna woodland areas and not commonly in urban settings.


Pricing (inclusive of VAT):

Box and DIY Installation Kit (to be collected)- R713

Box and DIY Installation Kit sent via courier – R770.50 (plus courier fee)



There is also the possibility that the nesting boxes may attract other cavity nesting species apart from birds. We are interested in any occupancy, bird or otherwise, in your nest boxes, so please share any interesting or valuable data with us regardless of which species is showing an interest in the nest box.


Email: orders@freemekzn.co.za to place an order