Bird Houses

Bird Houses, also called nesting boxes are used by cavity-nesting birds for building a nest in. Approximately 85 species of north american birds use cavities for nesting or for roosting. Most birds begin looking for potential nesting spots as early as January or February so it makes sense to erect a birdhouse as early as possible.

The most likely backyard birds to use a bird house are chickadees, titmice, bluebirds, nuthatches, and swallows. Each bird species will require certain dimensions with respect to hole size, wall height, depth of box, etc. so be sure to check a reliable source if you are planning to build a nesting box yourself.

Of particular importance is the hole size. Starlings and House Sparrows (two predator bird species) have a tough time entering a bird house with a hole size of 1-1/8" (which is ideal for chickadees). While many books list a tree or violet-green swallow box hole size at 1-1/2", I have seen great success with a diamond-shape hole of 1" high by 3" wide. This will still restrict female house sparrows. See birdhouse recommendations below.
If you are providing a bird house in your yard, try and ensure it has the following features:

• 1-1/8” hole size. Perfect for chickadees and will discourage House Sparrows
• ¾” wood, preferably cedar fastened with screws or nails, not staples.
• A metal portal protector around the hole so that squirrels and other predators can’t enlarge the opening and enter the nest box
• Adequate depth (about 5-6”) from the bottom of the hole to the floor so that cats and other predator birds can’t reach in to the nest
• NO perch. Period.
• Easy to open for cleaning in the Fall
• Ventilation holes or gaps in the top of the box to avoid overheating
• Slight roof overhang and drainage holes in the bottom to avoid water build-up
• Mounted securely between 6’ and 20” on a pole, tree trunk or fence
• Facing East for morning sun exposure is preferable
• Hang nesting material beside (but not in) the nest box. Try our new Songbird Essential Nesting Material Mixture with five natural colored materials