Building a bird house is a great way to start a new hobby. Offering shelter and protection to a family of birds can be a fascinating project. Bird watching has become very important in preventing the extinction and tracking the whereabouts of some species.
Bird houses can be built from a kit, from plans, or just by nailing a few boards together depending on how fancy or plain a bird house you want. They can be very simple in design or very elaborate. Either option will turn out to be a great source of entertainment.
First you need to know what kind of bird you want to attract. Specifications are different for the houses of the different species. Do you want to attract blue birds, cardinals, wrens, finches, purple martins or chickadees? The sizes of the house, the size and location of the entrance hole, and the placement of the house are just a few considerations.
Once you decide what type of bird you want to attract, look into the kits and plans or draw up your own plans according to the needs of that particular bird family. You will also want to look into where to best locate your bird house so there are no dangers to the birds and they are comfortable in moving in.
After your housing plan is completed and before you start building your new bird house, you will need to consider a site for nesting materials nearby for the birds to use to build their nest. Just keep the pieces of yarn or string together where they can be easily found.
Birds are losing their natural habitat by the widespread practice of clean forestry. There are many species that actually require our housing to keep the species alive. In North America there are about 50 species of birds that will nest in bird houses.
A Birdhouse needs to provide sufficient opening and ventilation for to give the birds’ easy access while keeping them protected from predators and also providing you adequate access to clean after the young birds leave.
Sometimes, bird-watchers and breeders monitor movements of the birds they house. They need suitable openings to observe the birds in their house. The interior dimensions should also allow easy movements for the birds.
Birds vary greatly in sizes and the house(s) that you build should fit the needs of the type of birds you want to attract and help.
Wood is the best material for making birdhouses. The best types of wood are redwood and rough-cut cedar, which do not deteriorate when exposed to sun and rain.
The natural insulating properties of wood are far superior to other materials like metal and plastic that overheats and makes it stifling hot for the birds.
Many builders use pressure-treated lumber, but this is not very safe. The copper-arsenate chemical that is routinely applied to it could be toxic to the birds if not properly applied.
Your birdhouses should blend with the surrounding habitat to make the birds feel at home. You may mount the birdhouses on fence posts, tall trees or on poles that were specifically set up for the purpose. Whatever type of birdhouse you choose, you must provide adequate protection from predators. Sheet metal and aluminum plates can help to keep predators away from your birdhouse.
Although most birds nest in cavities in rock or trees in their natural habitats, they also love to nest in birdhouses. Birds that will use birdhouses include Buffleheads, American Kestrels, Common Barn Owls, Wood Ducks, Northern Saw-whet Owls, Eastern and Western Screech Owls, Northern Flickers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Barred Owls, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Purple Martins, House Sparrows, Bluebirds, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Mountain Chickadees, Black-capped Chickadees, Oat Titmice, House Wrens, Great Crested Flycatchers and many others.