5 Key Things to Remember When Buying a Birdhouse
Are you thinking about buying a birdhouse?
Whether your home is on a migratory path for goldfinches or you have nesting birds like wrens all year round, it’s always interesting to watch birds pass through your yard.
Not only do they add music to the airwaves, they help to control mosquitoes, flies and other pests, like slugs, that can damage your flower beds and vegetable garden.
So, how do you attract – and keep – birds in your yard?
There are natural and manmade ways to make your yard and home more attractive to birds.
Here are some things to consider…
Five ways to attract birds
Many birds will nest in trees and shrubs using sticks and grass they find nearby. But some birds, like wrens and swallows, are attracted to a more confined space.
So, here are 5 thing things to keep in mind:
1. Keep it natural.
It’s tempting to put up a decorative, colorful house that adds to your decor, but birds are looking for a quiet place to lay and hatch their eggs. Opt for natural wood and make your feathered friends feel at home.
2. Know your audience.
The size of the opening you have in your birdhouse will determine the species of bird you attract. If it’s too large, squirrels will think it’s a great nesting place and you’ll miss out on songbirds who might call your birdhouse a home.
3. Cater to your diners.
If you’re on a migratory path, the birds in your yard have some very specific dietary needs. Take the time to check with your local pet store and find out what the species in your area need to continue their journey.
This might include a suet feeder, black-oil sunflower or niger seed. If you have squirrels in your neighborhood make sure you have the proper guards on your feeder to keep them away.
4. Know which way the wind blows.
Birds will choose their nesting spots based on prevailing winds. They don’t want a cool breeze blowing in on their hatchlings, and crosswinds will impact the flight school for their chicks, so when you’re buying a birdhouse and hanging it in your yard, keep the wind direction in mind.
5. Make sure there’s airflow.
This is often overlooked. Be sure that when you’re buying a birdhouse it has proper ventilation. This includes slots on the bottom, and on the top if you have the house mounted under your eaves or in a tree.
Naturally, birds have an innate sense of what they need, and it’s important for you to try and create a welcoming atmosphere.
You can attract certain species to your yard, but it will take time. Hanging up a niger feeder will attract one or two goldfinches at first, but word will get out and you’ll suddenly find you have a whole flock.
If you’re in an apartment you can hang up a hummingbird feeder on your balcony, or a small blackoil seed feeder. Guaranteed, songbirds will start to gather.
And, if you want to make your yard more bird-friendly, consider adding some shrubs and trees that provide shelter. Trees that bear fruit, like mulberry, cedar and ash are a huge draw for birds as they’re passing through your neighborhood.
Remember that most birds are transient residents in your neighborhood. Like any guest, it’s ideal that you make the environment as welcoming as possible while they’re visiting. Keep their dietary needs in mind and enjoy the visit while you can.