Want to Feather Your Nest with Birdhouses? Here Are Some Cardinal Rules.
Click the TV off, put the phone down and grab a front row seat for the best show of the summer – your birdhouses. What can be sweeter or more calming than watching a feathered family as they feed, forage and fly? Here are some tips to help create the perfect dream home.
When shopping, you may be dazzled by irresistibly charming birdhouses. But your responsibility to the birds must lead, with your creativity and decorating skills taking a back seat. First, think about the guest list, making note of the birds already chirping nearby, and the ones you want to attract. Then do a little digging – not for worms, but information on what they specifically prefer.
Top Five Things to Know
The house may be for the birds, but the pleasure of bird watching should be all yours. Where to put a birdhouse depends on where you can enjoy it, as long as it’s at least 6-10 feet off the ground. An east facing home offers its tenants the most shelter.
An inspection is required before you buy any home. Wood is better than metal or ceramic, and nails are better than glue. Ventilation is crucial, to keep summer heat out. Look for slits or small holes for this purpose.
From bright red to camouflage green, different colors attract different birds, so do a little hue homework. If you’re painting, use non-toxic paint. And the one color most birds avoid? White, which usually signals alarm or danger.
Birds nestled at home are sitting ducks for predators, so take two precautions. The opening entrance should be no more than 1½˝ across. And though a perch may seem convenient, it can be a welcome mat for hungry hunters. A small wood block is a good alternative.
Coming unhinged twice a year is mandatory. Look for a house with rustproof hinges at the bottom, for easy cleaning before and after nesting season.
Choosing a birdhouse is easy, affordable and satisfying – a small act of kindness to Mother Nature. She will reward you with a front row seat to the fascinating beauty of her feathered flock.