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Bird Houses Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Bird houses are an increasingly popular way to add some natural beauty and charm to your outdoor space. Not only do they provide a home for birds, but they can also be used as a decorative feature in gardens or yards. A bird house is ideal for attracting different species of birds to your garden while providing shelter and safety.
However, there’s more to buying the right bird house than meets the eye. You need to consider several factors such as size, design, type of birdhouse, location, cleaning, and maintenance before making a purchase. To help you make the best decision when it comes to purchasing a bird house for your outdoor space, we have come up with this comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of buying and maintaining a bird house.
What size of birdhouse do I need?
The size of the bird house is essential when it comes to making sure it suits its purpose. The general rule of thumb is that you should buy a birdhouse that’s one-third larger than the size of the birds you want to attract. Therefore, if you’re trying to attract medium-sized birds like robins or cardinals, then you should opt for a birdhouse with an inner chamber measuring at least six inches wide and eight inches high. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for small birds such as chickadees and wrens, then look for a smaller birdhouse with an inner chamber measuring four inches wide and six inches high.
What type of birdhouse should I buy?
The type of birdhouse you should choose depends largely on the kind of birds you want to attract in your garden. If you’re hoping to attract small songbirds, then opt for a basic wooden or metal house with a slanted roof and ventilation holes at the sides. Alternatively, if you want to draw larger birds such as woodpeckers and owls, then look for a more solid structure like a stone or brick nest box with an overhanging roof which provides extra protection from predators.
Where should I place my birdhouse?
When positioning your new birdhouse, make sure to place it in an area of your garden that is sheltered from the wind and rain but also gets plenty of sunlight. It’s best to mount your birdhouse at least five feet high on a tree or post in order to give the birds enough room to fly in and out. You should also site the house away from any other birdhouses as this could attract predators like cats and squirrels.
How often should I clean my birdhouse?
It’s important to keep your birdhouse clean and free from bacteria, parasites, and fungi. To ensure your feathered friends remain healthy you should clean out the inside of the house every two weeks during nesting season by using a brush or rag to remove the droppings and used nesting material. Make sure to wear gloves and a face mask when cleaning as some parasites can be harmful to humans.
What materials should I use for my birdhouse?
The best type of material for making a birdhouse is untreated wood such as cedar or redwood which is both rot-resistant and safe for birds to nest in. You should avoid using any type of pressure-treated wood as this could contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to birds. You can also opt for a metal or stone house but make sure these are sealed correctly so they don’t leak water into the interior chamber.
How often do I need to replace my birdhouse?
Birdhouses should be replaced every three to four years or when the wood starts to rot. This will ensure the birds have a safe and comfortable environment to nest in which is also free from parasites, bacteria, and fungi. It’s best to wait until the end of nesting season before replacing your birdhouse as this gives fledglings enough time to leave the nest.
Are there any other things I need for my birdhouse?
Yes! In addition to providing a clean and safe home for your feathered friends you should also include some extra features such as a perch at the entrance, drainage holes on the bottom, ventilation slots around the sides, and predator guards made from wire mesh on all exposed edges. You can also add a hinged inspection panel on the base which will allow you to easily access the interior chamber to check for parasites and nesting material build-up.
What type of food should I feed my birds?
The type of food you offer your birds should depend on what species they are and their dietary needs. Generally, wild songbirds like sunflower seeds, oats, millet, breadcrumbs, and cracked corn while larger birds such as woodpeckers prefer nuts and fruit. It’s best to avoid fatty foods such as meat scraps or processed human food as this could attract predators or cause sickness in your feathered friends.
How do I keep unwanted animals away from my birdhouse?
If you’re worried about cats, squirrels, or other predators getting into your birdhouse then it’s a good idea to install some protective features like predator guards. These are metal grills which fit over the entrance hole and stop larger animals like cats and squirrels from entering the nest box. You can also add extra layers of protection such as motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices which give off a high-pitched sound when an animal approaches.
Building and maintaining a birdhouse is an enjoyable activity that can be both affordable and rewarding. By following our tips you can create a safe and inviting home for small songbirds or larger species such as woodpeckers or owls. Make sure to keep it clean, sheltered from predators, and full of nutritious food so your birds can have a comfortable place to live in all year round. Good luck!
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