Welcome the Birds with a New House
It’s March and Spring is almost here, which means it’s the perfect time to start putting up bird houses. Our feathered friends, who will soon begin their search for mates and new places to nest, will thank you for it!
While not all birds are partial to bird houses, there are more than 30 species, such as bluebirds, wrens and chickadees, in North America that like to nest in them. And depending on the type of structure you decide to put up, you might be able to attract even more species to your yard.
When deciding on the kind of house you want to put up for the birds, keep in mind what will be the most attractive to them as they nest. Untreated wood with thick walls makes for better insulation, and the house will need holes for ventilation and for drainage. A longer, slanted roof, one that extends five inches or so in front of the house, is also key for shade and to keep rain out.
Another thing you need to make sure you have is a baffle to keep birds safe from predators like cats, squirrels, mice, raccoons, etc. In order to keep them from being able to climb a pole or find their way down through a tree, metal baffles situated above and below the bird house are ideal.
Remember that a birdhouse should be at least 10 feet above the ground and nowhere near shrubs or trees where other animals can easily get to it. It’s never a good idea to attach a birdhouse directly to a tree, as that’s an open invitation to squirrels, cats, etc. Also birds prefer sunny, open areas so try not to mount a house in a densely shaded area.
As for the size of the bird house, a 1½-inch diameter opening for the entrance is preferable as it will keep out larger, more aggressive birds. Depending on the kind of birds you’re trying to attract, the floor of the house should be at least 4”x4” with a depth of six to eight inches.
Birds often have trouble finding a place to nest so putting up a house for them is a great way to provide them with a safe, solid structure!