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Can Bird Houses Be Close Together?

Can Bird Houses Be Close Together?

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What better way to wake up than to the chirping and singing of birds?

Installing bird houses in your garden can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. However, if you don’t want them to end up being deserted dwellings, you need to know how to place them the right way.

One of the most important factors to consider is the spacing between bird houses. You may be wondering, can bird houses be close together?

Generally speaking, bird houses shouldn’t be close together. Most birds require security and seclusion to feel comfortable when nesting. Bird houses should be a minimum of 25 inches apart, the exact spacing needed depends on the specific species of birds.

Can Bird Houses Be Close Together?

Bird houses are a great feature to add to your garden for several reasons.

For starters, they add a beautiful aesthetic dimension to your backyard. There are plenty of bird house designs to choose from (depending on the types of birds you want to attract of course.)

Another, more important, advantage of having bird houses in your garden is that they give these beautiful creatures a place to settle and nest. This helps make up for the widespread destruction of their natural habitat through deforestation and lumbering.

However, you can have the perfect bird house designed, only to see it empty and uninhabited.

This largely comes down to how your bird houses are placed and how far apart they are from each other, how high they are, and other considerations regarding their placement.

How Far Apart Should Birdhouses Be?

When installing a birdhouse, your choice of interior design and placement should always attempt to emulate the natural habitat of the birds you’re trying to attract.

Different Birds Have Different Needs

In the wild, birds have an instinctive tendency of settling far apart from each other when nesting. This is due to the fact that many bird species are naturally territorial and don’t feel comfortable nesting in close proximity to other birds.

Therefore, the adequate spacing between each bird house and the next is 25 inches at the very least.

Of course, not all birds are alike. Some birds are more accepting of other birds nesting close by than others.

The birds that can nest in close proximity to each other include:

  • Martins
  • Cliff Swallows
  • Gulls

The birds that need their space include:

Additionally, when birds nest, they need to feel safe and be in a quiet, isolated space. You should never place bird houses in areas of your garden where there’s high activity. If you have pets, you’ll want to install the bird house in places your four-legged friends don’t go too often.

Urban Vs Rural Areas

The level of spacing required between bird houses will also depend on the nature of the area you’re in. This is because different areas have varying availability of food and shelter for the birds.

Generally speaking, bird houses need to be further apart in rural areas than in urban areas.

Furthermore, there are some birds for which it’s simply not possible to have bird houses in urban areas. This is because they require a berth of 100 feet between them and other birds when nesting. Examples of such birds are Tree swallows and Bluebirds.

Other Considerations

There’s another thing you need to keep in mind when deciding where to install your bird houses. You should consider the distance between them and any pre-existing facilities in place for birds in your garden.

You should give bird houses as wide a berth as possible from any bird feeders or bird baths you have installed. The minimum distance required is around 10 feet. This is because birds like their feeding spots to be relatively far away from their nests.

How High Should Bird Houses Be?

The level of elevation of bird houses above the ground is just as essential as the distance between each bird house and the next in attracting potential inhabitants.

This also stems from the birds’ need to feel secure and out of the reach of predators that may be lurking below.

In most cases, birds require their houses to be a minimum of five feet above ground level. However, some species require even more height than just five feet.

The exact height a bird house should be above the ground depends on the type of bird you’re trying to attract. However, the elevation required is unlikely to be any higher than the 12 feet preferred by Martins.

If you’re indifferent as to which birds you wish to fill your garden with, your best course of action is to install adequately spaced bird houses at various heights between five and 12 feet. This will ensure that you have bird houses that are attractive to a wide selection of bird species.

On the other hand, if you have a certain species in mind that you want to have nesting in your backyard, you’ll have to be more precise. Therefore, you’re better off doing some research on the preferred nesting height of those species and installing your bird houses accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Can bird houses be close together? The short answer is no.

The way you place bird houses in your garden can be the difference between having your garden be full of life and bird songs, and having beautifully designed bird houses that are empty.

There are several things to keep in mind when deciding how you’re going to space your birdhouses. The most important thing to consider is the natural instincts and needs of the birds you wish to attract. Some birds have no issues nesting close to each other, but most birds prefer to have a wide berth of isolation.

Make sure to space your bird houses in accordance with the criteria outlined in this guide.

Another factor you’ll want to consider is how high above the ground you’re going to install your bird houses. You should make sure to satisfy the minimum requirement of five feet.


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