To complement our newest offering (an eco friendly bird house), we've put together a little information on bird houses, including where and when to place, who will use them, and upkeep!
When to Place a Bird House
It's best to place bird houses in the fall or winter. Not because birds will nest at that time, but so they are in place well before birds look for a comfy spot for their brood. This also allows the house to "age" a little.
Where to Place a Bird House
Location is an incredibly important factor in whether your bird house is welcoming to feathered friends. Birds don't like to be crowded or bothered much, so keep the house away from busy places such as fences, feeders, birdbaths, and prying eyes. Placing the house at least 5 feet above the ground and 20 feet from other houses, feeders, and birdbaths is preferred. Secure the house firmly to either the trunk of a tree or a post, facing east to avoid prevailing winds, if possible.
What Attracts Birds
The birds attracted by these bird houses are cavity nesters. These birds either seek out or create their own holes in trees or wood in which to nest. Cavity nesters include wrens, chickadees, bluebirds, and swallows. They are looking for a shelter that has a depth of around 5 inches with a slanted roof that keeps out the rain. Birds prefer a house that mimics the look of the tree cavity they would normally use, so allowing the house to weather over the winter is a great idea.
Should I Hang a Bird House?
As cities grow, suitable habitat for many animals is destroyed. Birds are particularly affected by deforestation. Placing a bird house can help offset some of this loss and bring birds back to an abandoned habitat. Keep in mind it may take birds more than one season to realize there is a new place to nest.
Bird House Care
Caring for a bird house is not difficult at all. At the end of the breeding season, some time around September, simply clean out the nesting debris and gently wipe out with a weak bleach solution (1/2 tsp bleach in 3 cups water). Rinse, allow to dry, and hang again for next year's brood!