Nesting boxes are a great way to provide comfortable shelter for wild birds as well as pet birds. While many wild birds will make their own nests in a naturally sheltered location, having a nesting box available can make it easier for them. Birdhouses, while fun and cute, may not be big enough for a good nest. That’s where a nesting box can really have the advantage.
There are plenty of options out there and the best one will depend on the size and type of bird that lives in your area. With smaller options for hummingbirds and large boxes ideal for parakeets, there is an option for every feathered friend. We’ve researched and reviewed the top nesting boxes that birds actually use to give you a comprehensive list.
- YJJKJ Pet Wood Nest Box
- Available in 4 sizes
- Perfect for pet birds like parakeets
- Made of natural wood
- Top opens on a hinge for easy cleaning
- Skyeasure Parakeet Nesting Box
- Made of wood
- Has a hinged top for easy cleaning
- Features a durable metal ring around the entrance
- Available in small, medium, and large
- SunGrow Hummingbird House
#1 Overall Best: YJJKJ Pet Wood Bird Breeding Nesting Box
In our review, the best nest box is the YJJKJ Pet Wood Bird Breeding Nesting Box. This box comes in four sizes, perfect for pet birds like parakeets. It is made of natural wood and is super durable. In fact, many reviewers found that it lasted through multiple seasons and became a beloved place for their pet birds to nest. “I’ve been breeding parrots for years and this is the most perfect little box I’ve ever bought for Parrotlets,” wrote one reviewer. “Great quality. Extremely easy to install in an indoor cage. Can be attached inside the cage or outside the cage. Five stars.” It attaches to the side of the cage with included hardware. This can help birds get more comfortable as well as provide the option to place it lower within the cage.
The top of this box opens on a hinge to make cleaning out bedding easy. Reviewers did note that the wood is lightweight, a positive for some and a negative for others. “Thank you so much for such a beautiful lightweight box. The craftsmanship is absolutely appealing!” said one cockatiel owner.
If your bird chews, this is a good option to keep the opening secure. There is a metal ring around the circle-shaped opening to discourage chewing. You should plan for up to a month of travel time after you do order, however. Some reviewers found that their delivery came faster but overall, it did take quite a while to arrive.
2. Best Budget: Skyeasure Parakeet Nesting Box
For a similar product at a slightly lower price point, consider the Skyeasure Parakeet Nesting Box. It is also made of wood, has a hinged top for easy cleaning, and boasts a metal ring around the circle entrance to the box. This box is made of pine, offering a nice smell for your birds (and your home) that mimics the natural environment.
This option only comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Like others on our list, reviewers recommend sizing up if in doubt. “It’s a pretty simple box and should work well for a nest box. I do wish it fully opened for easy cleaning and checking on chicks but it should work fine,” said one reviewer. “We plan on breeding lovebirds. The medium size should be perfect, glad I didn’t go with the small.”
3. Best for Hummingbirds: SunGrow Hummingbird Outdoor House
To provide shelter for nesting hummingbirds, the SunGrow Hummingbird Outdoor House is our top pick. It’s teardrop-shaped to provide a natural place for hummingbirds to make their nests and is made out of 100% natural woven grass fiber. This provides natural ventilation, something that is necessary for birds’ comfort and their nesting.
You can hang this nesting house indoors or outdoors using the twine included. Keep in mind that this is made for smaller birds, such as hummingbirds, finches, chickadees, and sparrows. These birds can be very vulnerable to predators and having a house helps them stay safe while they nest. “Very cute, seems sturdy,” wrote one reviewer. “It’s wintertime right now where we live so I’m not expecting any birds to claim it yet, but there was definitely one interested chickadee inspecting it the day I put it out.”
Some reviewers did recommend replacing the included rope with something sturdier, especially if you experience extreme weather or heavy winds. “High winds will break the fiber rope hanger, so would reinforce or replace with something stronger,” said one reviewer who still gave the house high marks overall.
4. Best Birdhouse: Nature’s Way Bird Products Cedar Bluebird House
Often better for short-term use than actual nesting, birdhouses are still a good way to provide some shelter options for outdoor birds. The Nature’s Way Bird Products Cedar Bluebird Box House is sturdy and durable. It is also big enough to provide a space for bluebirds and similar-sized outdoor birds. It is made of all-natural cedar and smells amazing, although this is often overpowered by other natural scents in the environment.
The cedar does help it resist rot. The rust-free hardware is made of stainless steel. These high-quality materials make it one of the longest-lasting options on our list and perfect for outdoor use. Birds go into the house using the small circular opening in the front. Inside, there is a mesh floor to keep them out of any waste and debris, as well as air vents to allow airflow. To clean the house, simply lift up the front panel.
This birdhouse doesn’t include mounting hardware, which you will need to purchase separately depending on how you plan to use it. Most reviewers mounted it directly to the side of a tree or post. You can mount it on metal, wood, or a tree.
Choosing the Best: What to Look For
When deciding on the best nesting box for your bird or yard, consider where you want to place it, the type of bird, its durability, and its special features. We look at each of these items in more detail.
For indoor use for a pet bird, cage mounting is a must. For outdoor use, choosing something that can withstand the elements is important. Before deciding on a nesting box, think about where you want to place it and any features that it will need to have. The best nesting boxes clearly state what use they are best for, whether it is indoors for pets or outdoors for wildlife.
Type of Bird
Did you know that nesting boxes are designed and made for specific types of birds? These are often based on size and some nesting boxes and birdhouses can work for different types of birds of the same size and with the same nesting habits. Smaller birds need a smaller opening while larger birds need a larger one. This helps keep out predators and makes birds feel secure.
Materials and construction are very important, especially for outdoor nest boxes. Look for items that can remain functional even in rain, wind, and other weather. Wood such as cedar is great because it is naturally rot-resistant. Metal hardware is another thing that can quickly render a nest box unusable. Look for stainless steel that is rust-proof. For indoor nesting boxes, being able to withstand the elements may not be as crucial. But you should still look for boxes that are well-made. Birds that chew can quickly cause damage to weaker boxes.
A few standout nest boxes have features to make the birds’ lives even easier. These can include mesh floors to keep their nests elevated and ridges for baby birds to climb when it is time to leave the shelter of the nest and home. Features to make cleaning easier are also popular with bird-loving people. These can be hinged lids that can open or front openings to make cleaning a breeze.
The Different Types of Bird Nest Boxes: Pros and Cons Compared
Bird nest boxes can be divided into indoor boxes and outdoor boxes. Each has its pros and cons, discussed here. The best option for you often comes down to where you want to use it and the type of birds you have.
Indoor Bird Nest Box
|Can attach to cage||Gets worn faster|
|Lightweight and easy to clean||Can’t be used outside|
Outdoor Bird Nest Box
|Durable and sturdy||Usually more expensive|
|Can be used indoors or outdoors||Requires more complex mounting|
|Made of high-quality materials|
Verified Review: User Experience
The wooden nesting box from YJJKJ is our top pick and has a lot of great features that reviewers liked. “Very nice nesting box. Good size for my cockatiels,” said one bird owner who tried it. “The entrance hole is nicely edged in a ring to discourage biting. It has a nice hinged lid on top for easy cleaning.”
Reviewers recommended paying attention to sizing based on the type of bird that you have. “I bought two of these awesome boxes. The small is too small for a budgie!” said one reviewer. “But the large and extra-large are perfect for my budgies and cockatiels! I absolutely love the bigger one!” Returns can be a hassle and take a lot of time so we recommend measuring for the best size before ordering.
The Nature’s Way Bird Products Cedar Bluebird Box House is a great option for outdoor use. “The construction is solid,” wrote one reviewer. “No worries about it falling apart once on the tree. I drilled 2 holes in the back of it and wound some coated flexible wire through the holes to help in attaching them to the trees. They’ve only been up since the start of the winter (wanted to get them up, in place, and start weathering before the spring). We’ve already noticed eastern bluebirds checking them out. Haven’t had any take-up residence yet, but so far everything looks like the houses are piquing their interest.”
Another reviewer liked all of the features meant to make life easier for nesting birds and the humans who want to help them. “This house is solid and high quality! Obviously hand-assembled and has great functionality. So easy to open and close for access to clean. Wire mesh inside on bottom perfect for bird grip and aeration of the nest. Little grooves in the wood inside below the hole so babies can climb up. I added a perch outside below the hole in about one minute with a drill and a piece of a chopstick! What a great value for money.”