How To Select a Birdhouse© 2011 by TotallyBirds.com - All Rights Reserved
Each wild bird species has a preference for the types of bird house that they would use to build a nest. When you wish to attract certain types of bird to your yard, it really helps if you know what those birds prefer. Remember that birds only use houses for raising their young and sometimes for temporary protection from bad weather, so the bird houses will probably only be used once or twice per year.
The first consideration for any bird house should be the materials used in its construction. Select a bird house made from materials that withstand the weather conditions for your area and will provide a safe environment for your feathered friends. Some birds, such as Purple Martins, will nest in community birdhouse made of metal, where most birds would avoid these types of structures.
Most wild birds prefer a house that is made of natural materials and one that blends into the environment with natural colors. This typically means houses made of natural cedar or Eastern pine. Some houses are made from recycled materials and are referred to as "eco-friendly". If you see the word "Eco" in the name of description, it is probably made from recycled materials. These homes are very durable and easy to clean. Avoid birdhouses made of plywood, because it just does not hold up to harsh weather conditions.
While natural wood is preferred, houses can be painted on the outside if a non-toxic stain or latex paint is used. A wooden house should never be painted on the inside.
The size of the bird house entry hole is an important consideration. Many backyard birds prefer specific hole sizes because they help to deter predators, such as larger birds, squirrels and racoons, and thus protect eggs and baby birds. Keep in mind that some wild birds, such as morning doves, barn swallows and cardinals, prefer an open nest and will not typically use a bird house with an entry hole. They prefer an open box or a shelf for nesting.
The size of the box is another important feature. Some birds prefer deep boxes, while others prefer small boxes or specific shapes. It is usually best if you can find a bird house that is specifically designed for the types of feathered friends that you wish to attract.
Select a house that allows for easy cleaning. Bird houses should always be cleaned out after each nesting season. Make sure that there is an access door that allows easy removal of old nests and debris.
If you make wise choices when selecting bird houses, your feathered friends will reward your with their company and many hours of pleasure.