Even if it isn’t hot outside, now is still a perfect time to hang or maintain your birdhouse. Nesting season has already started for several species, and is rapidly approaching for others.
Here are 10 tips and tricks to set up and maintain a birdhouse or nesting box in your yard.
1. When building a birdhouse, or nesting box, it is very important that the size of the box conforms to species-specific dimensions, and that the box is posted at the appropriate height.
2. Make sure the entrance is the appropriate size for the species you want to attract. If the hole is too small, the bird won’t be able to fit inside, and if it is too large, predatory birds and squirrels may be able to get inside the nest.
3. Wood is the ideal birdhouse building material. Metal or plastic may not insulate the nest enough, so the young birds could become chilled or overheated.
4. If you paint the outside of a birdhouse, use dull colors that blend in with the surrounding vegetation. Bright or glossy boxes may make it easier for predatory birds or mammals to find.
5. Protect the house from precipitation. Make sure that the roof of the birdhouse at a slight angle so that the entrance will be shielded from rain or snow.
6. Drill a few, ¼ inch holes in the floor so that any water that may enter the house can easily drain out. Also drill a few holes through the side of the birdhouse to provide air circulation.
7. Perches make it easier for predatory birds to access the eggs and young. Choose a birdhouse without a perch.
8. Instead of free-swinging birdhouses, which are rarely used, put your birdhouse on a post, tree, or sturdy pole.
9. Make sure that you build a nest box that can be easily maintained when necessary.
10. Just like when you spring clean your house, you should also clean and disinfect your nest boxes each spring to prevent the spread of avian diseases, and also to make sure mice and other unwelcome pests haven’t taken up residence.
Have your own birdhouse? What bird species have you seen in your backyard?