Adding a small birdhouse to your garden is a great way to attract wild birds.
I must confess, I have never had much success attracting birds to nest in my garden, but I do have three cats, so maybe that has been too much of a deterrent for the birds!
Where to place a nesting box is important if you want to have regular visitors, year after year. The RSPB recommend that unless there are trees or buildings which shade the box during the day, face the box between north and east, thus avoiding strong sunlight and the wettest winds.
Make sure that the birds have a clear flight path to the nest without any clutter directly in front of the entrance. Tilt the box forward slightly so that any driving rain will hit the roof and bounce clear.
If using a tree to site your birdhouse, it's best to hang it using the wire on top, as nails may damage the tree.
When is the best time to site a nesting box? This very much depends on the species of birds as some will nest earlier than others, however as soon as you have a nesting box, put it up. Birds will begin to become familiar with new nesting sites in the autumn and winter. Blue Tits and Great Tits will not seriously investigate nesting sites until February or March, so put up a birdhouse in spring and it may attract new occupants straight away!
House Martins, House and Tree Sparrows are referred to as colonial nesters, and by putting up two birdhouses you could attract two families. Make the nesting area more attractive by making sure there is food available in the garden too.