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Robins and phoebes prefer open but protected nest sites rather than fully enclosed nest boxes. Set up this nesting shelf under the eaves of a building and the birds will have a safe spot protected by the overhang in which to raise their young.
What You'll Need
Mounting & Maintenance
Attach the shelf to the side of a building under the eaves at least 10 to 12 feet above the ground. Use 1 ½" screws and predrill the holes slightly smaller than the screw diameter. Allow a 6- to 7-inch clearance from the shelf to the eaves for robins and a 4- to 5-inch clearance for phoebes. Or, mount the shelf on a tree trunk or branch in a shady spot 10 to 12 feet above the ground. Clean the shelf well each fall and check that it is securely attached for the new tenants that will take up residence in early spring.
Maureen Mecozzi is a contributing editor to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.