There is nothing quite like seeing a bird raise a brood in a nest site that you have provided yourself and what’s more, it’s easy to do. Avoid elaborate designs, just a simple box with a hole (for a tit) or open front (for a robin) will do. Fix to a tree, and avoid facing it due south
If you feed them, they will come. From mid-winter to early spring, you will be saving lives, and in the summer, extra feeding will help birds prepare for breeding and keep in good shape. Put up several feeding stations in different places, fill them with a range of food and clean them once a fortnight.
Not all birds use artificial boxesto nest in. Many prefer hedges – the thicker the better for keeping out cats and other predators. Don’t be afraid of a little untidiness; a few overgrown and neglected nooks and crannies may well provide nesting and roosting places for garden visitors.