There is hardly anything more rewarding than looking at birds through your window as they nest outside in a small birdhouse. Looking at a pair of young birds as they find this tiny, cozy place and start calling it home is a wonderful feeling.
Over time, you will notice these birds coming in and going out, and eventually they are going to lay eggs in the birdhouse, and a family will evolve. It’s a wonderful feeling to share your home with these tiny creatures, and it’s going to bring your heart quite a bit of joy.
A lot of people build birdhouses out in their backyard and in empty spaces because they think they can attract some of these beautiful creatures. However, it is much easier said than done.
For instance, if you live near a wooded area, adding a birdhouse is an excellent way to provide a safe haven to these winged creatures. But, it’s not as easy as it looks. It’s quite disappointing when you put up the birdhouse, and wait for several days, only to find that there are no birds coming in.
It can be quite boring looking at the birdhouse from time to time and not seeing anything happen around you. It’s also quite sad seeing all of your hard work going down the drain like this. You might be wondering exactly what you’ve done wrong, and whether animals are attracted to your place or not.
However, you need to understand that attracting birds to a birdhouse is more of an art. There are quite a few things that you need to keep in mind, especially when it comes to making sure that you keep them in for the long-term. Setting up a successful birdhouse isn’t as simple as just putting one up on the end of the pole and waiting for the birds to arrive.
There are multiple things that you might be doing wrong without even realizing it, so it’s very important for you to take a balanced approach. Here are a few things that you should know about how to attract birds to a birdhouse.
1 – Select the Right Nesting Location
One of the biggest factors that you need to focus on is the location of the birdhouse. A suitable nesting location is incredibly important, because you need to understand that birds are very picky creatures, especially when building a nest.
This is where the birds are going to stay until their babies are fit to fly, so many birds are quite particular. Depending on the breed, their preferences might vary. However, in most cases, birds look for a safe and secure spot that is well-sheltered and hidden from external elements.
You need to take into account the different requirements for different species. For instance, if you see quite a few bluebirds around your house, the best location for their nest will be an area that is surrounded by open fields. That’s because the bluebird likes an open line of sight, because they often pick on insects and other crawlers to feed their young.
On the other hand, a chickadee, a very popular bird around the country, is the complete opposite. They prefer houses that are built in a thicket or between a lot of shrubs. If you have a lot of trees concentrated in one area of the property, a chickadee birdhouse can be placed there.
The purple martin, one of the most popular and beautiful birds you will see, usually prefers apartment houses that are placed on a pole in the center. If you have an open lawn or a large field, that’s where you should put the birdhouse. So, the first step is to make sure that you research about the birds found in your area and then decide what kind of birdhouse to build.
Most people only look at those open apartment birdhouses that are fixed on a pole, and because it looks so beautiful and idyllic, they just build those in their houses. That’s not a good idea, especially if you don’t know what kind of birds reside in your area.
2 – The Proper House Design
Now, let’s talk about the design of the house. A proper house design is critical because as mentioned above, each different bird breed likes to live differently. Purple martins prefer living in communities like many other birds, so an apartment style birdhouse is a great choice.
House wrens on the other hand, like to live in smaller houses, and do not like having other wrens near them. Bluebirds prefer the single-room dwellings, and you need to space them at least 75 yards apart from each other.
3 – The Right Fit
A very common thing that most people overlook is the fitting of the birdhouse. You need to make sure that you build a birdhouse that is suitable for the kind of birds that you want to keep.
Keep in mind that the birdhouse is going to be populated very soon, so you have to make sure that it’s not too big, or too small. The obvious thing to know here is that a larger bird is going to require a larger house, whereas a smaller bird will do well with a smaller one. A house wren will be more than satisfied with a house that’s 8 inches tall, and has a 4 by 6 inch base. On the other hand, a chickadee will do well in an 8-inch house that has a 5 by 5 inch base.
Bluebirds are slightly bigger in size, so they require more room. You will need a birdhouse that is at least 10 inches in height and has a 5.5 by 5.5 inch base. If you are looking to keep bigger birds, such as an owl, you will want a birdhouse with a height of at least 24 inches, and a base that’s around 10 by 10 inches.
4 – Size of the Entrance Hole
The size of the entrance hole is also an important determinant. House wrens don’t need a very big entrance, so a hole of around two inches is more than enough. The size of the hole can’t be too big, because other birds might try to fight to gain control of the territory.
You have to make sure that you keep the competent nesters out. Then, bigger birds require a bigger opening. For instance, if you have a screech owl, you will want to go for an elliptical doorway that’s around 4 by 3 inches. That’s plenty of space for it to squeeze through. On top of that, the elliptical shape prevents other animals such as raccoons from getting through.
These are just some of the finer points that you need to keep in mind when it comes to building a birdhouse. If you are simply putting one up without a thought and hoping to attract these magnificent creatures to your house, you are doing it wrong.
It’s important that you take these little things into account to create a safe and a comfortable place for the birds. Also, make sure you avoid going too close to the birdhouse every now and then, because if they notice you, they might fly away.