My goal here is to help you decide WHERE to install your Nice Nest and offer some practical tips about HOW to do that. You can easily do it yourself - it's not rocket science. However, I do provide on-site consultation, placement, and installation services for customers in Washington State. Rates depend on the location and scope of the project.
When installing your Nice Nest, the direction the box faces, the height of the box, and the surrounding habitat are important considerations. No need to reinvent the wheel: the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great species-by-species placement guide for birds HERE. I'll cover bat boxes and mason bee boxes separately.
That said, I do have some placement tips of my own.
1) First, birds don't always follow the rules - feel free to experiment and see what works. There are so many variables to each site.
2) Try to orient nestbox openings away from the prevailing spring and summer wind and hot afternoon sun. Here in the Northwest, I try to avoid pointing them West, although your micro-climate may vary.
3) Place nestboxes at least 50 feet - or more - from feeders, preferably hidden from view of the feeder traffic. Feeders are busy; nesters want peace and privacy.
4) Think about your sight lines! Find places that work for the birds AND you. Think about where you spend your time in or around your home and look for placements that allow you to enjoy the show whether you are cooking dinner or relaxing on the porch swing.
5) When? The sooner the better. Seriously. Nesting season can begin as early as later winter for owls, and continue all the way up through July for various species. Non-migrators (such as chickadees, nuthatches and some owls) will roost in nestboxes to escape harsh weather. Migrators (such as bluebirds and swallows) are more apt to use a box that is there when they return. Cavity-nesting birds key in on nestboxes any time of year and remember them come nesting season. Raptors such kestrels and various owls will choose and defend territory based on a nesting opportunity.
I will update this section soon with pictures and such...thanks for your patience. Meanwhile, here's a few quick tips on how to easily install Nice Nests. Each Nice Nest opens up by simply twisting and removing the pin on the lower right side of the nestbox, then grab the door pull on the front of the box and pull open. Opening the Nestbox door allows you to access the inside back or floor of the box. Using a cordless drill, put a couple screws through the back of the box into a tree, fence, post or outbuilding. A long bit is helpful. If you want to put it on top of a pole or post - just sink a couple screws through the floor.
If you do not have access to a drill, it is possible to do this manually. If all you have access to is a hammer, drop me an email and I can give you some quick and easy solutions.
Again - I'm remodeling my website, so I plan to have much more comprehensive info here soon. Meanwhile, don't hesitate to get in touch and I will walk you through an easy installation option that works for you no matter what your tools or skills!
Note 1: If the locking pin on the door is sticky, use a pair of pliers to twist and remove it - wood swells and shrinks with changes in temperature and humidity.
Note 2: Bat boxes, barn owl, barred owl boxes, and mason bee structures are designed to be installed and cleaned out in different ways. Specific info on these is coming soon. Meanwhile, please contact me with questions.