BIRDHOUSES AND NESTING MATERIALS
Spring is nesting time for our feathered friends. You may have noticed many of your backyard birds engaging in elaborate courtship rituals or staking territory. Your backyard birds will now be busy selecting a nesting site, collecting nesting materials and building a nest (which can take thousands of trips.) Attracting nesting birds to your own backyard can be easy if you follow some of our guidelines below.
READ THIS CUTE STORY!
(And you thought your life was hard!)
Consider this! The male house wren arrives early in Spring and will construct as many as a dozen or more nests in his territory. When the females arrive, he will court a female by taking her around and showing off his work. When a female finally accepts one of his nesting sites they will mate. More often than not, the female will then tear apart his hard work and begin building a nest all over again! …And that explains the wren’s notorious reputation as a reckless nest builder!
HOW TO ATTRACT NESTING WILD BIRDS TO YOUR BACKYARD
Remember to be patient – it may take several seasons to attract a mating pair to your backyard!
- Not all birds will use birdhouses, but over 50 species of North American birds are known to use bird houses.
- Birdhouses of specific shapes and dimensions will attract specific birds. Visit our birdhouse dimensions chart to find the specifications for the wild birds you want to attract.
- Although Spring is the time most people put up birdhouses, you can put them up any time of year. Fall is an ideal time. When not in use, other birds will use them for a roosting cavity in the cold weather.
- Whether you purchase or make your own bird house, make sure it is constructed of durable wood (redwood, white cedar or cypress), has good ventilation and drainage holes. Take a look at our fantastic selection of wild bird houses for some ideas.
- Mount on a sturdy pole or post. Secure it so it is safe and stable. Make sure it is protected from predators and intruders such as cats and squirrels.
- Place bird houses away from your bird feeding area but in a place where you can view and enjoy.
- Keep the front of the box away from wind current. In most areas this means facing South or Southeast. Birds prefer open, sunny spots.
- Please clean your houses after each brood has left. Remove and throw away any old nesting material and scrub with a 10% bleach solution. Old nesting material left on the ground could invite predators. Let dry completely before remounting. This will prevent parasites or diseases from spreading.
- Robins, Phoebes and Swallows prefer nesting shelves.
- Many birds feed heavily during nesting periods. Apples are a favorite presented on a fruit feeder!
- Constructing a bird house is a fun and educational activity for the entire family! Check out the bird house building books we have available.
Don’t neglect to offer nesting materials if you put out nesting boxes. Putting out concentrated stashes of nesting materials will reduce the birds’ time to find them and construct a nest. Present the following items in the crevice of a tree or in a wire suet holder:
- Yarn – cut the pieces to be very short
- Downey Like Materials
- Bundles of dead twigs
Too busy? We have ready to go nesting materials!
Some bird species (American Robin, Wood Thrushes, Phoebes and Swallows) require mud for their nests. Consider creating a mud hole if you would like to attract these nesting wild birds.