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How Big Should a Birdhouse Be? (And Why Size Matters)

How Big Should a Birdhouse Be? (And Why Size Matters)

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Are you thinking about buying some birdhouses for your yard soon? This could be a great idea.

You’ll surely love having birds nest on your property. If you’re someone who enjoys watching birds, this makes a lot of sense.

If you’re new to buying birdhouses, you might be wondering how big they need to be. It’s important to buy the right birdhouses when you want to attract specific birds, after all.

Continue reading to learn about how big birdhouses should be. This will ensure that you understand how to get the best results.

Why the Right Size Matters

The right size is important because the birds need to be able to fit in the birdhouse comfortably. For example, adult birds need to be able to fit in the birdhouse and make a nest.

If the birdhouse is too small for the birds to make a nest and fit, they’re not going to choose it as a nesting location. They’ll simply move on and look for another spot.

When your goal is to attract specific types of birds, you need to ensure that the birdhouse has the right dimensions. Different birds will require birdhouses with different dimensions.

Generally, birds are fairly flexible when it comes to birdhouse sizes. As long as the birdhouses are big enough to be practical, birds will use them if they find them to be in a convenient location.

That being said, there are many other things that you need to consider. When your goal is to get things right, you want to make sure that you do everything you can to make the birdhouse attractive to the birds.

Size Considerations

There are different considerations that you should keep in mind when choosing how big a birdhouse should be. This is especially important when you’re building a birdhouse with a specific type of bird in mind.

It also applies when you’re buying a birdhouse from a retail store. How big the birdhouse needs to be will depend on various factors.

Below, you’ll learn a bit about some of the factors that you should consider. Keeping this in mind should help you to do the research and make the right call when planning out the size of the birdhouse.

The Size of the Adults and Babies

Above, you learned that the size of the adult birds matters. You need the adults to be able to fit and make a nest inside of the birdhouse.

It’s also important to consider the size of the babies as well as how many eggs a specific type of bird typically lays. With this information, you can determine how big the birdhouse should be to accommodate the birds properly.

All of the eggs need to fit in the birdhouse safely. They should comfortably fit without making things tight.

There also needs to be room for the parents to rearrange the eggs if necessary. Some species that produce many eggs at once will likely need larger birdhouses.

Smaller birds that produce small eggs won’t need houses that are quite so big. Likewise, birds that produce only a few eggs at once won’t need large birdhouses.

Overall Safety

The overall safety of the birds is something to keep in mind as well. When you’re picking out a birdhouse, you need to consider whether it will have appropriate ventilation or not.

Of course, the size of the house must be big enough for all of the birds. This includes the parents, the eggs, and the baby birds when the time is right.

The house has to be big enough to comfortably fit the birds while also providing proper ventilation. Air circulation is an important thing to keep in mind.

Without good air circulation, the birds won’t be able to survive inside the birdhouse. Temperature control is another issue that you have to remember.

The birdhouse needs to stay warm enough without getting too hot. This has as much to do with the design of the birdhouse as it does with the placement of the birdhouse.

You also want to make it so it’s difficult for predators to intrude. Predators will want to make a meal of the birds living in the birdhouse.

Snakes, cats, and many other predators need to be considered. You have to position the birdhouse safely to avoid problems.

The Entrance Hole

The entrance hole is something that you have to consider right away. Every birdhouse is going to have some type of entrance where the birds can get inside.

Typically, the entrance holes are round and they will be fairly small. The entrance hole must be large enough for the bird to fit or it won’t be able to use it.

When you’re trying to attract specific types of birds, you’re going to want to research the entrance hole size that they require. Different birds will need different entrance hole sizes.

Some birds will be able to fit in entrance holes that have fairly small diameters. Others will need larger entrance holes.

Buy a birdhouse with an entrance hole that is the right size for the bird you wish to attract. If you’re building your own birdhouse, you’ll need to factor the entrance hole size into your designs.

Birdhouse Height

You might be wondering if the birdhouse should be designed to be a specific height. This is all related to how big the birdhouse needs to be.

As mentioned above, you want to ensure that the birdhouse is large enough to comfortably fit all of the birds. It also needs to have good ventilation.

For an American kestrel, the total height of the house should be between 12 and 15 inches. Chickadees only require the birdhouses to have a total height of between 8 and 10 inches.

As you can see, you have to look up the best height based on the type of bird that you’re hoping for. Learn about the birds in your area and then buy the right birdhouse.

So long as the birdhouse is appropriate for the type of birds you wish to attract, it’ll be fine. Height matters even more when it comes to installing the birdhouse.

You see, birdhouses need to be placed at specific heights. Birds will only use birdhouses if they’re installed at specific heights that appeal to them.

Generally, you’re never going to have a birdhouse that is less than five feet off the ground. It needs to be five or six feet high for any bird to want to utilize it.

Some birds might want birdhouses to be mounted ten feet in the air. Others might prefer heights of thirty feet.

You must research the preferred birdhouse height of the bird you want to attract. The information will differ from bird to bird.

Can a Birdhouse Be Too Big?

A birdhouse can absolutely be too big. Birds won’t want to live in birdhouses that are too large.

Why would it matter if the house is too big? The house might not retain enough heat to keep the birds warm.

It’d be harder for the birds to stay safe. The birds and the eggs might not be healthy if they don’t have sufficient warmth.

Also, a birdhouse that is too large could create opportunities for predators. Predators might have enough room to get inside the birdhouse and devour the birds.

You only want the birdhouse to be as big as it needs to be. It’s likely fine for the birdhouse to be slightly larger than it needs to be, but it shouldn’t be far too big.

How Many Birds Live in a Birdhouse?

How many birds will live in a birdhouse will depend. It all comes down to which type of bird is occupying the birdhouse.

Typically, there will be two adult birds that will decide to build a nest together. Those two birds will mate and a certain number of eggs will be laid.

How many eggs will be present will depend on the species. Some birds lay more eggs at once than others.

There could be many birds in the nest if the bird in question lays many eggs. Or it could be that there will be only two or three babies along with the parents.

This is why you should research information based on the types of birds you want to attract. You should learn about all the birds in your area so you’ll know what to expect no matter what birds wind up in your birdhouse.

Final Thoughts

With the information above, you should feel confident about picking out the right birdhouse. You know that the size of the birdhouse does indeed matter.

You need the birdhouse to be large enough to comfortably fit the birds and their babies. It also needs to have good ventilation for the birds to survive.

A birdhouse that is too large will be detrimental, though. It could have issues when it comes to retaining warmth.

Whether you’re building a birdhouse or buying one, it’s imperative to pick out one that’s the right size. Pick a birdhouse based on the birds that you’d like to live in it.

Do your best to attract the birds to the area by making your yard a good spot for birds. Ensure that there are feeders in your yard and a bird bath if you want birds to be more likely to nest in your birdhouses.


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