Choosing the Perfect Bird House: Part 1

In today’s world, many birds can’t find good cavities to nest in. Many of their old nesting haunts have been developed or deforested. You can help these birds by erecting birdhouses on your property.

When selecting the birdhouse keep these hints in mind:

Birds are picky about the size of the house, its height off the ground, and the diameter of the entrance hole. Find out what birds species live in your area, and research what dimensions and entrance holes they prefer. Many common birds in North American prefer a 1 ½ inch (3.8cm) diameter entrance- this includes many swallows, bluebirds, nuthatches and titmice. Several wren species prefer even smaller holes (1 1/8 inch, or 2.9cm). Other birds prefer larger entrance holes as a 2 ¼ inch (6.4cm) hole may be acceptable to a woodpecker or flycatcher. Kestrels and wood ducks need at least a 3-inch (7.6cm) hole. Be aware that, in North America, any hole larger than 1 ½ inches may invite non-native Starlings to move in.

Make the bird house a dry, safe home and make sure that drainage holes and an overhanging roof can keep the baby birds dry. Also, remember to avoid any paints, stains, insect sprays or cleaners on the inside of the birdhouse- fumes from these can kill chicks and adults. Keep in mind birdhouses with an exterior perch just give predators an extra handhold, and that perches may attract non-native house sparrows when you might prefer a native wren or chickadee to move in!

We hope that you find these ideas helpful the next time you may want to build a proper and suitable bird house. If you have any ideas or suggestions about bird house construction then take a peek at our forums under our section called “Bird Keeping” or start a new subject yourself!