Bird House Placement

Bird House Placement

     Where you put your birdhouse is as important as its design and construction. Cavity-nesting birds are very particular about where they live. If you don’t have the right habitat, the birds are not likely to find the house. You can modify your land to attract the birds you want to see by putting out a bird bath, planting fruit-bearing shrubs, including more trees or installing a pond with a waterfall.

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     Once you’ve matched up the light birdhouse with the appropriate habitat, you have to know where to put the nest box. Should you hang it from a tree limb, nail it to a fence or mount it on a pole or a tree trunk?

     Most species require a fairly narrow range of heights for nest boxes. After checking the table in this brochure, pick a height that’s convenient for you. After all, you will want to watch what goes on and keep the box clean. If you want to watch chickadees from your second-floor window or deck, fifteen feet is reasonable but it’s a lot easier to clean out a box at eye level.

Here are some tips on where to put birdhouses:

  • Don’t put bird houses near bird feeders.
  • Houses mounted on metal poles are less vulnerable to predators than houses nailed to tree trunks or hung from tree limbs.
  • Use no more than four small nest boxes or one large box per acre for any one species.
  • Put about 100 yards between bluebird boxes and 75 yards between swallow boxes. (If you have both species, pair the houses with one bluebird box 25 feet from a swallow box.)
  • Don’t put more than one box in a tree unless the tree is extremely large or the boxes are for different species. 
  • If you have very hot summers, face the entrance holes of your boxes north or east to avoid overheating the box.

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