Nesting season is almost here! This year, consider providing a place for your backyard birds to raise their young. It’s a great way to get an up-close look at the different life stages of your favorite birds!
The best bird houses are made with quality materials like untreated wood (order of preference: cedar, pine or cypress or non- pressure treated plywood for larger houses) or recycled material like the products made from recycled milk jugs.
Houses should be assembled with galvanized screws and when possible have a wood or metal portal guard. The extended wood guards make it more difficult for predators to reach in. The metal portal guards prevent birds and squirrels from making the entrance hole larger.
Perches are not necessary as birds fly right to the entrance hole. Perches on a bird house could actually make it easier for predators to hang on and access the entrance hole.
Ventilation holes on the side walls of the bird house near the top of the house help to regulate the temperature inside the house. Drainage holes at the bottom of the house allow rain water to drip away, keeping the nest drier.
Size of the entrance hole will determine which birds will be able to access the house. A hole 1”-1and 1/8” will keep sparrows out of the house.
For easy monitoring and cleaning the house should have an easy opening side wall or quick release top.
For best predator protection mount the house on a pole with a baffle to prevent predators from climbing the pole. Another great option is to use rebar covered with conduit and buff the conduit with steel wool to make it slippery. Locate the house 12’ from tree limbs to keep squirrels from jumping to the top of the house.
Pick up our Nesting Notes in stores or click the link here for more information about common birds and their nesting needs.
By Minnetonka Manager CAROL CHENAULT