Choose a birdhouse with these best features in mind


A birdhouse with these features will please and protect your favorite birds, and last for years and years.

One of the great pleasures of a backyard wildlife habitat is watching the birds that live there. You can add to your enjoyment by putting up a birdhouse, which allows you to view birds coming and going as they build a nest and later feed their young. If you like watching bluebirds, wrens, chickadees, screech owls, swallows, bluejays and other favorite urban birds, then you should put up a birdhouse (or more than one). It will provide years of viewing pleasure for you and a nesting place for birds. Some birds use a birdhouse almost year-round — for raising their young in the summer and for weather protection in the winter. If you live in the South, February is a good time to hang a birdhouse; in the North, hang it in mid-March.

What bird do you want to attract to your new birdhouse? You’ll need to choose one that meets the dimensional needs of that particular species.  Choosing the right birdhouse – one size doesn’t fit all 

Also, plan to shop (or build it) with some important features in mind. Just as we humans have something specific in mind when we look for a house, birds, as it happens, do, too! When birds scout out their territory for nesting places, they consider dimensions, features, color, hanging height, safety and location. It’s easy to meet their requirements when you know what to do. Where to hang birdhouses

Materials and workmanship of poor quality won’t last very long outdoors and may also be made of materials that are unhealthy for birds. Look for as many of these features as your budget can afford.

• Cedar or redwood; both will last for years and can go unpainted.*
Thick wood for insulation.
Untreated wood, for the health of the birds.
Sloped roof for good rainwater runoff.
• Movable panel for easy inside access.
• Ventilation holes on two sides for good cross ventilation.
• Drainage holes in the bottom, in case rain finds its way inside.
• Rough interior to help fledglings climb out when it’s time to leave the nest.
• No perch — birds don’t need it and predators will take advantage of it (or remove the perch)
• Built with screws and nails, not with staples, so it will last for years
• Earthtones are the best colors — bright paint can attract predators.
• No paint on the inside — flaking paint can be dangerous.
• Roof extends out 2 inches or more above the entrance hole to keep out the rain.
• Easy to hang firmly, so wind won’t blow it around, making eggs roll (although, some birds don’t mind the wind).
* Pine and plywood won’t last nearly as  long, but it helps to paint the exterior with a water-based exterior paint.