Birdhouses have been in use since antiquity for a host of reasons, such as natural pest control. Today, however, they are set up to provide a nesting place for bird species uprooted by urbanization and habitat loss. Bird lovers also enjoy setting them up and watching the many species that flock to raise their young. Putting up birdhouses can save species like the house sparrow and others from going extinct. Here's a guide on selecting a birdhouse that will find eager takers.
Looking for a bird
Different bird species have varying tastes in accommodation. The purple martin is an agreeable sort that will crowd into group homes with metal components. Other birds feel more comfortable in wood, though. A flycatcher might insist on an entryway exactly 2.8cm in diameter--any larger and the tree sparrow will move in instead! The size of the bird box and its entrance decides the kind of birds that roost there. Bigger ones will attract owls and ducks, while smaller ones feel cozier to wrens and treecreepers. Ensure the birdhouse selected is suitable for birds in the region.
The simplest architecture
Birdhouses come in many attractive forms today, with some having many openings for several boxes in the same unit. They all require a sloped roof and adequate drainage and ventilation, however. This can be provided through small holes in the corners of the birdhouse. A box too big can exhaust the bird as it struggles to fill the entire space with nesting. Ensure that the entryways are not so large they allow access to predators like snakes or raccoons. Unless the hole is so small predators cannot gain entry, perches on the exterior are a terrible idea.
Painted for comfort
Wood is a favorite across the board. Make sure the inside is untreated, as baby birds can peck at and accidentally swallow varnish! Plastic and metal don't stand up well against heat, and metal especially insulates poorly against the cold. (An exception to this is a metal roof for purple martins, as it reflects sunlight.) Ceramic might look attractive, but it is fragile and doesn't make good homes.
Speaking of attractive homes: ensure that the birdhouse is painted in muted tones if painted at all. Birdhouses in fluorescent and metallic colors are a beacon for predators, and toxic chemicals in the paint can harm the baby birds inside. Poorly applied paint can also block off ventilation holes, and dark exteriors can trap heat inside the box, which is an unpleasant way to live! White and wood-colored veneers are best. Use eco-friendly or latex paint to keep the birds safe.
Categories Simillar to Birdhouses includes Birdbath Bowls, Birdbaths and Bird Food