Best Birdhouses for Backyards

Best Birdhouses for Backyards

Garden, house or wild birds by their nature will nest in trees and hedgerows, but there are a few varieties that will nest in cavities of old buildings or trees. They will adopt to the circumstances that they are given and make their homes in these crevices, provided that it offers an degree of shelter and safety from the elements and predation.  Whether we are living in urban or suburban areas, we can still do this exercise and it will help in a number of ways to attract these wild birds to our area. Birds in their own right are naturally curious and will be attracted to these for several reasons. They will be on the lookout for an appropriate nesting location from very early spring, so it’s important that we have these little birdhouses erected in good time. Timber or wood makes the best birdhouses for backgardens as other material like plastic or metal may heat up a little in hot weather and cause the young chicks some distress.

In some countries, wild life and bird conservation groups do a great job in going out and about and erecting these bird houses in specific locations. They do these for a number of reasons, mainly to do a count of specific species, to give a helping hand to a particular variety and doing some research of wild birds in general. In my own country the government recently introduced a scheme, whereby farmers received a small payment for erecting both bird and bat houses in their lands. It is part of an ongoing campaign to conserve dwindling numbers and help with their well being, where ever they can. This is where we can also help out in this area and again, it does’nt cost the earth to erect a few of these nesting boxes or birdhouses, in our backyards or backgardens.

 

birdhouse for bluebirds

 

Best time to put up a birdhouse;

 

If this is our first time with this exercise, the optimum times for erecting these nesting boxes is early spring, but we can put these up at any time esentially. In the springtime is when all activity begins in the bird world and its the time of the year when most birds will be looking for a place to nest and lay their eggs. The reason that anytime of the year is good to erect these houses is, the birds will have checked out these over time and will have been familiarising themselves with their location.

 

Best position for birdhouses;

 

Naturally the higher off the ground we can locate these boxes the better, for obvious reasons, cats especially being the main predators and other critters like squirrels, weasels and stoats etc. Depending on the country we live in and the climate that we have, we need to plan these placements properly and carefully. They should be facing north, so as to avoid the midday hot sun and they should also be faced in the opposite direction of the prevailing winds, for similar reasons. Another idea that we might consider and that is to locate these boxes somewhere we could could view these from our sitting rooms or kitchens. The object of this exercise is to be able to enjoy all that bird activity as they flutter in and out both at the nest building time and later on, the feeding of their chicks. One small tip for these birdhouses is, to have the birdbox blend into the sorroundings as much as possible, so that it does’nt look so intrusive to outsiders.

 

Birdhouses for backyards

 

Cleaning out a birdhouse;

 

This is a very important task that has to be completed after the chicks have fledged the nest. This is primarily for hygienic reasons and also so as not to attract other unwanted critters like mice, insects, mites and bird lice. They would be attracted by the smells and activity that went on earlier in these birdhouses, so it is imperative that we do this job as soon as possible. There is a trap-door type opening in every bird house and this makes this task much easier. The old nesting material will also have to be disposed of also as this would deter new occupiers from returning. We need to ensure that the inside is cleaned out thoroughly and it may even attract the original birds back later that year, as often is the case, birds do have a second brood.

 

Types of birdhouses available;

 

There are hundreds of these birdhouse available at our local hardware stores, garden centres also stock these and failing that, we can always purchase these online. There are birdhouse project plans online, available to download, which is something that might take our fancy. If we are anyway handy with a hammer and saw, its not very difficult to make one of these by ourselves. It does’nt require a great deal of expertise and only a small amount of materials are required for this exercise.

However, if we are thinking of buying these birdboxes online, I would advise on the practical, standard type of birdboxes for backgardensbirdhouse, for the reasons that we have outlined above. This again of course, is contingent on our budget, as we all know that there are really expensive, top of the range, designer type birdhouses available and they look spectacular in their own right. But the reality is, birds will leave droppings and so on, in or around the vicinity of these receptacles, so cleaning of these has to taken into consideration at all times.

I hope you have enjoyed this short overview of how to erect birdhouses and select the best locations for these boxes. On this website, we have previously covered details of how to attract wild birds with bird feeders and birdbaths to our backgardens, so this is another method that may be useful in our quest to have wild birds flying about in our backyards. As usual, do join in the conversation by using the comments box down below and we will reply in due course.

Happy birding to all,

Cheers Phil Browne.

 

Everyone likes birds.

What wild creature is more accessible

to our eyes and ears,

as close to us

and everyone in the world,

as universal as a bird?

— David Attenborough.


8 thoughts on “Best Birdhouses for Backyards

  1. My grandparents have a bunch of bird houses and bird bathes and get a lot “bird traffic” and it also ends up attracting squirels that like to climb up the feeder and grab whatever is in the bird house haha, I often see a showdown between a black bird and squirel its not an uncommon site there. I wonder if there is anything special I can to attract different type of birds such as Blue Jays

    1. Hi there

      Many thanks for reading this post, its greatly appreciated. You are lucky to have such thoughtful grandparents and as you say, it’s a great sight to watch the birds feeding and its also great fun to see them vying for the ‘pecking’ order sometimes.

      Unfortunately that is the downside of having these birdfeeders in our backyards, it sometimes bring unwanted guests.

      As for attracting blue birds to your backyard, any type of birdseed should do the trick, although ther are impartial to sunflower seed, if you could get your hands on this type of bird food, that would sure attract these and what a great looking bird to be watching.

      Cheers and best wishes

      Phil Browne

  2. Phil,
    I have several bird houses in my back yard. The birds I attract most often are Eastern Bluebirds. From time to time I do get some wrens in my houses. Each spring before the last frost I make sure that they are cleaned out. Where I live we are on a septic system that has 4 inch vents coming out of the ground, I put an extension on these so that they are over 6 feet tall and put a cap on top, attach bird houses almost to the top. This keeps critters from climbing to the nest. I had a lot of problems with critters when the houses where placed in trees in the back yard. When the birds are feeding their young, they gather quite a few bugs each day, both feeding the little ones.
    This give me the fun of watching the birds and gets rid of some of the pest in my garden. I have three houses in my 1/4 acre back yard, do you think this is too many.
    John

    1. Hi there John,

      Many thanks for reading this post on what are the best birdhouse for backyards. I am glad to read that you are a bird lover and you have already some boxes placed around your house and its sorrounds.

      As you have rightly pointed out, its great fun to watch these creatures flying in and out as they build the nests and then continue their duty to raise their brood. One could easily spend hours and hours watching and observing their habits and also their squabbles, from time to time.

      As for how many boxes we could have in our yards, it depends on their location and what species you are targeting. Wildbirds just like wild animals and are very territorial, they will fight off birds that stray into their domain, even if its the same variety as themselves.

      So the answer is the placement of these is os important, but I would easily say that three in your plot would be fine.

      Thanks again for stopping by,

      Happy birding,

      Cheers   Phil Browne.

  3. Birds are definitely important in the world and having birdhouses around gives them shelter and keeping track of specific types of birds.

    I never thought too much about which direction to face them but I could definitely see why you would want to face them north and away from the winds.

    My question is, is there a specific birdhouse you would recommend to others that you consider to be the best? If so, which one?

    1. Hi there Arie,

      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post on the Best Birdhouses for Backyards. I am glad that you agree with what I have written on this post and that the information is to your liking.

      The orientation and placement of these birdboxes is of utmost importance especially for the reasons mentioned in this article.

      The type of birdhouse that you would be thinking of getting would depend on the types of birds that would be prevalent in the vicinity of your house and its sorrounding area.

      Obviously some birds will require bigger openings and smaller birds much less so. It all depends on what types you would be targeting, however, I would recommend that we use a timber box for these purposes.

      Thanks again for stopping by

      Cheers        PB.

  4. Hi Philip,
    I enjoyed reading your article, in fact where I live I have noticed a pair of scarlet mountain Rosella parrots flying around my house. I’m thinking that their looking for a place to breed. So I will construct some kind of box for them to nest in and nail it high up on a tree so that the neighbour’s cat doesn’t get to it. I’ll also wrap some barbed wire around the trunk of the tree because I just remembered cats can climb trees. What do you think?

    1. Hi there Roldan,
      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post, its greatly appreciated. I am glad that you have found this information useful and interesting. It’s a great sight to see wild birds fluttering about and around where we live, we could spend hours watching and observing their habits and interaction with each other.
      It would be a great idea to make a birdhouse and then attach or nail it high up on a tree, as parrots usually nest in a hole in a tree. The barbed wire would be a good cat deterrent for sure.
      Thanks again for stopping by and best wishes with the parrots,
      Cheers Phil Browne

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