The beginner’s guide to bird houses
A birdhouse is a man-made wooden structure that has been specifically designed to attract birds to live in it. Usually, but not always, they are open at the front and may be attached to a tree or post. They are usually big enough for one bird family. Birdhouses come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs, but they all have a few things in common.
The main purpose of a birdhouse is to help to encourage birds into your garden and give them a nice place to live. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve got lots of trees in your garden, as it gives the little creatures somewhere safe to nest and breed away from predators. In addition, this helps to increase the population of birds in your area, which is definitely a good thing!
The second purpose of a birdhouse is for you. They are great fun to put up and watch the birds who come to live in it. It’s also very satisfying to see baby birds flying out of their new home into the big wide world.
All birdhouses have a front opening entrance and a back opening for cleaning out old nesting material, some sort of ventilation holes on the sides to allow fresh air in and stale air out, drainage holes at the bottom to prevent water from pooling inside, and an overhang or roof to keep rainwater off. In addition, you can add anything else that you think might make your birdhouse more attractive to birds, such as a perch or a ladder.
The most common type of birdhouse is the simple, open-fronted box design. This style is easy and inexpensive to build and is great for attracting a variety of birds. The houses can be made from almost any kind of wood, but cedar and redwood are both rot-resistant and good choices.
Birds choose their nests based on several factors, including design, materials used, and size. One of the most important factors is location, as they usually build their nests in a secluded and concealed spot where they feel safe from predators.
Houses for larger birds, such as bluebirds, may have a front hole just 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrens usually need a front hole about the size of a half-dollar coin. Sparrows can use either size house, depending on their preference. The entrance hole should be placed high up on the house, at least 6 inches from the bottom. This will help to keep out predators such as cats and raccoons.
When choosing a spot to hang your birdhouse, keep in mind that birds like to be near water and trees. Face the house entrance towards the east, so the morning sun can help warm it up. Make sure the landing platform is big enough for the bird to land on without difficulty. Watch the house carefully in the spring to see what kinds of birds live in it. If you don’t have any birds living in your birdhouse by the end of the nesting season, try moving it to a different spot.
The best time to put up your birdhouse is in the early spring, before the birds start nesting. Be sure to clean it out at the end of the nesting season so it’s ready for the next group of birds. Sometimes people will try and clean out old nesting material before winter sets in, but this may not be such a good idea. Birds might still be using it for shelter, and trying to clean it out might make them move away. If you can’t reach the house to clean it yourself, wait until spring and let the birds do it themselves.
Suppose you want to attract birds that will feed on the insects in your garden, build a birdhouse with an opening near the bottom and use it as a bug trap. Then, in the fall, you’ll have a ready supply of hungry birds!
If you want your house to be occupied right away, consider putting up more than one birdhouse in different locations around your yard. If you’re hoping for a specific type of bird to nest in your home, make sure the birdhouse you put up is appropriate for the type of birds that live in your area.
Bluebirds, for example, need a long-necked funnel entrance, while wrens and sparrows will use a shorter neck opening. If you would like to attract particular species of birds to your yard, check with local birdwatchers or a wildlife center to find out what type of nesting box they will use. If the local birds seem resistant to your chosen design, try something a little different!
A bonus idea: if you have a successful birdhouse hanging around, consider using it as an outdoor planter after the nesting season is over. You’ll have a constant supply of beautiful flowers right outside your door!
So, should you get a birdhouse? Well, that depends on your reasons. If you’re keen to help increase the population of birds in your local area, then definitely! They are also great for kids as they provide a fun way to learn about nature and watch the wildlife in your backyard.
So, there you have it – the beginner’s guide to birdhouses! Now go get yourself one and start enjoying all the amazing birds that will come to visit.