10 Rules for Choosing the Best Bird House

BirdhousePurchasing a quality bird house is money well spent, and represents a good investment in the future of your backyard birds. Look for these features to determine the best one to buy:

1. The inside floor base should be at least 4″x4″ to accommodate a bird nest. Most small to medium backyard birds can use this size for nesting. Larger birds will of course need a bit larger bird house base to accommodate bigger nests, say 6″x6″ or so as an average.

2. Look for vent slots or a space where the roof overhangs the sides to allow proper air exchange to keep baby birds comfortable. If you are choosing one made from reclaimed antique barn boards, some checking and natural cracking will provide a measure of ventilation automatically, without letting moisture in.

3. A way to clean out the house is essential. See if there are screws holding the bottom or one of the sides of the structure. These can be removed when the time comes to eliminate old nesting material, any accumulated dirt, leaves, etc., before the next nesting season. Keeping their house clean is of the utmost importance to the survival of baby birds.

4. Make certain there is a good roof overhang. About 1″ wide in the front of the bird house is enough to help protect baby birds from wind, rain, and snow; plus it will provide shade from the sun.

5. A well-constructed bird abode will have nails or screws rather than short staples, which tend to pull out as the wood expands and contracts naturally through the seasons.

6. The wood used for construction should be at least ½” to ¾” thick. This ensures insulation of the interior, keeping baby birds comfortable.

7. Contrary to popular belief, a standard type of perch is not essential. In fact, birds will cling to the outside wood of the bird house. This is particularly true when naturally-textured woods are used.

8. Bird houses do not need to be painted. If the wood used is reclaimed barn wood, it has already been seasoned through many years of the temperature/humidity cycle. It has weathered all kinds of inclement conditions. Chances are that any paint used years ago has long since faded away.

9. Natural-looking constructions will blend in with the surroundings. Birds look for holes in tree trunks and branches to use for nesting sites. I truly believe that nesting boxes should mimic those natural nesting areas. It is, however, fun to add a few ‘decorative’ bird houses to your landscape, particularly if they are whimsical and adhere to these rules.

10. Assure there is a strong, sturdy roof that has no holes or places where rain or snow could enter and harm the baby birds inside. It would not do for the next generation to die from pneumonia because of a leaky roof.

These are the 10 rules I have used for many years for finding quality, long-lasting bird houses. I have had good success with birds choosing them for their homes, as well as places to shelter from bad weather. Quality wooden nest boxes are well worth the investment. My older bird houses are still in use today!


Connie Smith is the proud owner and manager of Grandma Pearl’s Backporch, LLC, and the expert author of many online articles about easy and unique ways you can create the best bird-friendly habitats to help wild birds survive and thrive. Discover how to create fun and safe backyard habitats for wild birds using their preferred plants and foods, while adding color, fragrance and beauty to your landscape. Find simple how-to projects for making your own unique bird feeders; and learn how easy it is to attract a variety of birds to your yard and gardens. Visit today!


Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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