DIY Swift box designs

There is a wide range of commercially available Swift boxes, but for those who like DIY, here are some possible designs. All of the designs listed here are suitable for installation externally. None of the carpentry required is particularly advanced, though it helps to have some power tools such as a jigsaw, mitre saw and skill saw. We would also recommend that you visit these Dutch swift box designs and Bristol Swifts nest box designs.

Note, that in some of these posts, we recommend an entrance size of 30mm x 65-75mm. As Starlings can squeeze into a 30mm slot, we now recommend an oblong or obround entrance 28mm x 65-75mm.

The Model 30
This box is suitable for any location as it has a double thickness, waterproof roof (made of uPVC). The 30° sloping roof should deter predators.
For design details, download (pdf)
Flatpack assembly instructions (pdf)
Assembly animation: Youtube
John Stimpson now supplies this nest box: 
Email: j.stimpson1@btopenworld.com Phone: 01353 740451

Recycled water pipe Swift box.
This is a low-cost, waterproof, long-lasting, low weight and aesthetically acceptable Swift nest-box.
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Zeist nest box. 
This box is based upon a Dutch design. Over 5000 7000 8000 of these boxes have been supplied by John Stimpson. If made of plywood, they are ideal under eaves where they are out of the rain and sheltered from the sun.
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Simple shoebox designs
These designs are the simplest possible carpentry. Ideal under eaves out of the rain.
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4-box cabinet. 
This can be made in 2, 3 or 4-box versions.
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End box cabinet.
This can be made in 2, 3 or 4-box versions
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Eaves box design tool. 
This tool will calculate all of the dimensions needed to make eaves boxes to fit a wide range of geometries.
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Box for open eaves with joists
These can be the most unobtrusive of all external nest boxes.
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Oostvoorne eaves box. These boxes were designed for a mitigation project in Holland
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2 comments:

  1. Question re Suitable Nature cam/ Trail cam
    I'm interested in setting up a suitable "nature cam" or "trail cam" the type that is triggered by movement in front of the cam. I want to position it to see which of 4 adjacent boxes have attracted Swift interest next spring.
    Bearing in mind the speed of approach of swifts, has anyone used a cam with sufficiently fast trigger response?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Trail cams are not quick enough for monitoring Swifts entering and leaving their nests. You need a cctv camera and a DVR with motion detection. These record in a loop so that once motion is detected, they can back up a few seconds.

    ReplyDelete