An occupied wild bird house where you're able to watch it can provide one of the most suspense-filled and interesting birding activities you'll enjoy.
While it's hard to think about spring nesting time in the dead of winter, this bird house draws the attention of a Chickadee pair within minutes of being placed out doors each Valentine's Day!
Place a wild bird house in your garden and you can be witness to: adult pair courtship and nest site selection, nest building activity, eggs and then hatchlings, seeing the nestlings grow, parent pair feeding activity (with frequent trips to your feeders for food). Once they've left the bird house, you can watch the fledglings with their parents teaching them at your bird feeding station and bird bath. Perhaps the most a fulfilling part of hosting birds is knowing you've helped them flourish and nothing demonstrates that as well as a successful nesting season.
Would you like to
encourage birds to select your bird house for their nesting site?
You'll need to know ...
... which birds use bird houses to nest
... what features should you look for when you buy a bird house
... what size house is the right "fit"
... when, where and how to place the nest box
... what to do about bird house competitors and predators
Which birds use bird
houses to nest?
Not all birds use nest boxes. The birds you'll be able to attract to a bird house are the cavity nesters in your area. Those are the ones you may be able to entice into a bird house you provide.
What features should you look for when you buy a bird
Look for the same features that attracted you to your house. Color. Good ventilation, yet tight and dry. Front door step (perches)? A sheltering roof. Home security ... a strong mounting system.
What size house is the right "fit"?
Two measures seem to be most important: the area of the floor and the distance between the floor and the entry hole.
When, where and how
should you place the nest box?
Put up the wild bird house before the site-selection and breeding season begins. Place the bird house out by mid-February in the south and by mid-March in the north at a height that's right for the species you want to attract. Face the entry hole away from approaching weather.
What to do about bird
house competitors and predators.
Make sure the entry is only large enough for the species you want to attract. Consider a guard over the entry hole to keep predators from harming the nest.
Encourage birds that won't use enclosed
bird houses to nest in your garden.
Birds that build open cup nests will welcome other
nest-friendly features in your habitat even if
they won't use an enclosed bird house.
Where do you want to go from here?
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