Although birdhouses may seem like a modern invention, people in Holland and Belgium started creating clay ones four hundred years ago. Shaped like a vase, their purpose was diametrically the opposite of why we have bird houses in our yards today: people would use them in hopes of having birds lay eggs in them, which would be used to feed their families.
Nowadays, of course, people put these structures in their yards to protect the birds, offering them shelter in bad weather. Plenty of styles exist, depending upon what kind of wild birds you want to attract and watch, plus, birds who feel safe on your property may decide to use your bird houses to build their nests and lay their eggs.
Bird Nesting Behavior
If you see birds removing threads from outdoor rugs, pulling up grass, even tugging out their own feathers, they’re in nesting mode, collecting materials they need to build their nests. To protect their eggs and then hatchlings, birds may not fly directly from a feeder to their nest—especially if they’re wary of predators. Once eggs hatch, you may hear different bird sounds, those of young birds.
If you’d like for a bird to build her nest in one of your bird houses, here are strategies to help:
- Use a quality birdhouse that’s designed to attract wild birds. Handmade birdhouses may have issues that make them less than desirable. For more specifics, see this section later in the post: “Elements of Quality Bird Houses.”
- Place the bird house near a place where the mother bird can safely eat. Here are squirrel-proof feeders to consider.
- Make sure that ready sources of water exist; here are bird baths to consider. Not sure how to arrange these three items (birdhouse, bird feeder, and bird bath) for maximum effectiveness? Contact us online, call (631) 261-1148, or stop by our retail center during business hours.
- Protect birds from predators. Cats are natural predators of birds. So are snakes. Although you can’t absolutely prevent them from getting to the birds, use what deterrents you can.
- Stay away, at least for a while. If a bird sets up its home in one of your birdhouses, that’s exciting—and it will be tempting to want to get up closer to watch. Give the bird time to get settled in, though, and explain to children why it’s important to give them the privacy they need to feel safe.
Attracting Bird Species
According to The National Wildlife Federation, birds that may decide to settle into a birdhouse include:
- Purple Martins
- Tree Swallows
If you’d like to help these species and enjoy watching and learning more about them, then bird houses sound like an avenue to explore.
Elements of Quality Bird Houses
You’ll want a birdhouse that looks nice in your yard while offering a safe and appealing environment for the winged friends who will consider making a nest in your yard. Quality birdhouses will have entrance holes that aren’t too big or too small. They’re just right.
If the entrance is too small, a bird may struggle to get inside. If it’s too big, it may not provide the degree of privacy and safety from predators that a bird might want for its nest. We invite you to stop by Decker’s Nursery any time during business hours to browse our selection of bird houses. Our experts will happily provide no-pressure advice as you consider which bird supplies you’ll need for your backyard feathered friends.
Unlike bird feeders, perches are typically not desirable because they can attract predators.
When considering a particular birdhouse, consider how easy it will be to clean in between nesting seasons and what maintenance steps you may need to take.
Some species appreciate extended roofs that slope because this can make it more difficult for predators to get on top of the structure and try to reach inside. It can also help to divert rainfall. This 8” x 13” multi-color wooden birdhouse provides a good example of a sloped, extended roofline.
Also make sure that the bird houses will be easy to mount.
Look for birdhouses that offer weather resistance, overall, along with outstanding insulation. For example, take a look at this Carved Wooden Birdhouse. Crafted from durable cedar, this option provides superior weather resistance and insulation while also having quirky eye-catching carved animal designs to choose from:
- Carved Bear Birdhouse
- Carved Owl Birdhouse
- Carved Father Time Birdhouse
- Carved Mother Earth Birdhouse
The entrance hole on each style is 1.5” in diameter, which discourages species you don’t want while being especially attractive to the eastern bluebird. Screws are rust resistant, a front panel with a turn-tab closure makes cleaning quick and easy, and proper air ventilation and drainage is provided. Fully assembled, it’s simple to mount.
Bird houses for sale can also be made from resin, such as this resin birdhouse—available in two colors: yellow finch and red cardinal.
Multiple Bird Houses
If you’d like to set up more than one birdhouse in your yard, it’s possible if you have enough space in your yard. Because birds protect their nests, strategically place your bird houses so that they’re out of sight from one another. Our experts can advise you on what makes sense for the configuration of your property.
Bird Houses for Sale at Decker’s Nursery
When you’re looking to create an appealing environment for nesting birds, choosing the right birdhouses is ideal. We’d love to help! Simply contact us online, call (631) 261-1148, or stop by our retail center during business hours.