General Discussion : Mounting nest boxes

Hello all,

Well, beloved spouse Randy and I have mounted 2 nest boxes which Randy made in his work shop using the Art Gingert design. The boxes are beautiful, bulky and weigh between 12 and 15 pounds.

We were able to mount 1 box in an hour or so, and the other (the first one) took well over 6 hours. In both cases, we were mounting on trees.

I would love to learn how others are handling the mounting process. Our ladder has a 14 foot reach, and can be tricky to stabilize when placed against a tree. What tips and tricks have you used for mounting your nest boxes?

Thanks in advance.




jimsmithct's picture


If you google Tom Sayer Kestrel box and click on the google video tab you will see a video for a retractable mounting system.  Tom uses this on over 70 boxes in CT.  I started working with Tom this year and found the system to work well (the components cost a bit, about $30) . I had 5 boxes this year which produced 2 mating  pairs.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Jim Smith


EllaPennington's picture

Thanks, Jim, for pointing me to the video -- poles do seem to be more predictable than trees for install. How much time does it normally take you to place the two by four?

Prescott Audubon Society's picture

Hello Ella

We at Prescott Audubon Society in Prescott AZ also use poles which we feel are safer for installers and the birds.

We install a short steel pipe in the ground then slide a larger and longer aluminum pole over that with the box attached. The aluminum pole is too slipery for preditors to climb and there's no danger of the pole growing and damaging the box as there is with a tree. All of our boxes are just over eight feet off the ground so high climbs are not necessary and that height seems OK with the kestrels.

Box cleaning and maintanance is done by sliding the main pole off the ground post and lowering.

Initial installation usually takes about a half hour.

Best of luck with your project and keep us posted with any questions or results.


Smith2190's picture

Dave, My wife and I would be very interested in a picture and size measurments for the the nest box mounting you mentioned for the American Kestrel.  We live on the west side of Prescott, north east of Williamson Valley Road and Pioneer Parkway.  Please send anything you can to:  Thanks, Bob and Linda Smith

Julian's picture

Hi, Ella,

I secure the ladder to the pole with a 12-foot (I think) cargo strap, about five feet off the ground.  It's one of the two straps with which I tie the ladder onto the car.  I used to tie on a second, shorter, strap near the top of the ladder, but I've found that it's not necessary.  Assuming that the feet of the ladder are on level ground, with a tight strap at the 5-foot level the ladder will not slip.

Since the hardest part of attaching the box to the pole is screwing in the screws at the top of the box, and since I'm old and afraid of heights, my wife devised a scheme that I can live with.  I first attach a "backboard," the same size as the back of the box, to the pole.  I attach two steel "tarp hooks" to the top back of the box.  I lift the box into place and hook the hooks over the backboard.  The box just hangs in place.  To keep the bottom end of the box from resting against the backboard and trapping water, I put two screws into the front bottom of the backboard, leaving them protruding about a quarter-inch.  The bottom back of the nest box swings into place against these two screws.  On my first few boxes, I fastened the bottom of the box to the backboard, but that's just an extra hassle--it would take a tornado to blow the box off the backboard.  A nice feature of this method, with the bottom of the box not fastened, is that you can just lift the box off of the backboard for cleaning and maintenance.  See the photos.


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Posted in General Discussion by EllaPennington 1 year 1 month ago.