The installment of birdhouses greatly increases the visits of little feathered creatures to your backyard. It is well-known that creating a shelter or nesting place for birds has mutual benefits for both. But it is essentially crucial that you know the prime time to put up a birdhouse to attract nesting birds to your garden.
Here is some information you might find useful when installing a birdhouse.
When Birds Use Birdhouses
A great number of birds are not that fragile as people think they are. They have their own ways to survive in extreme weather (for example, they take refuge in tree holes to get through snowstorms and strong breezes), but there is still room for humans to help them be seasonally-savvy in extreme climates by providing them with safer and more comfortable shelters during snowy months.
At the very beginning, you’d better figure out what kind of birds need shelter since not every species of bird will migrate to a warmer place as winter approaches, nor will they only seek refuge in micro-habitats like shrubs or bushes when bad weather hits. So native birds that don’t migrate seasonally would love to nest on the little house you prepare for them. And birds are more inclined to nest in a safer place away from the slaughter of predators so the installment of birdhouses is a big attraction for them.
People always get stuck in the stereotyping thinking that birds only use birdhouses to get through winter. But the truth is that birds may make a permanent settlement in your backyard if the living environment is pleasant enough, and that birdhouses are frequently visited in extreme weathers, breeding season and sometimes all year round. So it’s crucial to know what kind of birds will be attracted so that you can prepare your birdhouses in accordance with their living standards.
Best Time to Hang a Birdhouse
Different species of birds nest at different seasons. The earliest batch starts searching potential nesting sites around January in the northern hemisphere, while on the other side of the globe the investigation will begin as early as in July. Others may wait until late fall or early winter to make a final settlement, but the investigation of shelters is a lengthy journey. It takes time to find a perfect nesting spot to nurture the offspring.
It’s most preferable to set up a birdhouse before breeding season in your backyard. Birdhouses will better be installed in late summer and early autumn, the prime time when the majority of birds will swarm out searching for potential nesting sites. You have to get prepared in advance to give them enough time to find the most appropriate shelters. But if you set up the birdhouse early in the spring, then you may have the chance to catch a glimpse of the lovely blue eggs of blue jays, whose nesting season lasts for nearly five months from March to July. Therefore, a thorough investigation into their nesting habits is crucial to find out the best time to erect a birdhouse.
If you accidentally miss out on the breeding season, you may also have unexpected visits from migratory birds during winter. And it’s highly recommended that you could leave the birdhouse all year long, since some species will not nest until early winter but they would take available houses as temporary shelters to avoid predators and bad weather. It’s never too late to set up a birdhouse. Once there, it will come into use.
Best Placement for a Birdhouse
Proper placement of the birdhouse makes a startling difference in increasing the attractiveness of your backyard and making it a bird-friendly paradise. The location of your birdhouse has a profound influence in attracting certain types of birds. Some are more attracted to birdhouses mounted 12 feet high, while others are more comfortable to nest near the ground. Given that different birds show distinct preferences for nesting, birdhouses placed at different heights will greatly increase the diversity of birds in your backyards.
Moreover, birdhouses should be mounted slightly downward facing away from prevailing winds to avoid strong breezes and heavy rains. The optimal direction for birdhouses is the east where those feathered creatures could get blessed with the sunshine in the early morning. And they should be mounted in a relatively open area to ensure that birds have a clear sight and flight path.
Placing birdhouses at different heights will not only help avoid congestion but also discourage other species like cuckoos from taking up residence. It is strongly required that birdhouses should be hung high to avoid unwelcome predators in a hidden spot for safety concerns. It is also not recommended to hang your birdhouse close to bird feeders or birdbaths, for it will only increase the chances of attacks and ambushes. They can also be installed in places where birdwatchers have a clear and unobstructed view through the windows or on the balconies, if those little birds could don’t mind compromising themselves to settle in a place out of their comfort zone.
Tips for Attracting Birds to Your Birdhouse
Birds never use old nests, so remember to clean up the interior for the next brood. Following the principle of sanitation will drastically lower the risk of contamination from bird wastes or insect infestations in an old nest. Birdhouses should be hung away from feeders, so you can place the feeders and birdbaths elsewhere to secure adequate food and water supplies. And growing some plants that produce natural food for birds also works. Generally, small birds need small houses, while large birds require larger houses. For example, chickadees and house wrens only need a box that’s around eight inches tall, while larger species like owls need a birdhouse that is at least 15 inches tall. Another very important aspect of selecting the right birdhouse for the nesting birds you want to attract is the size of the the entrance hole. House wrens require the smallest entrance, only 1-1/8 inches to keep out competing nesters, while the entrance hole of a wood duck box is 3 inches high, 4 inches wide.
For those who wanna have a closer look at the nesting birds, Green Backyard has launched several birdhouse camera kits to help you begin backyard bird watching. Every birdhouse camera kit includes a cedar birdhouse and a high-definition camera. For more information, go check our website!!