Bird houses are a great way to attract more birds to your yard. And to any birding enthusiast, one of life’s great pleasures is watching a pair of birds move into a bird house they’ve put up and produce a family. Equally though, it can be frustrating to see your bird house remain empty year after year. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some possible reasons why and some bird house mistakes you may be making…
Bird House Mistakes
One of the biggest bird house mistakes people make is not keeping their houses safe from cats and other predators. Cats can easily jump 2 metres or more, so if you position your bird house closer to the ground than this, or within this distance of a surface a cat can access, then any birds using your bird house won’t be safe. In fact, they’re unlikely to last long at all.
A similar issue is that most birds have particular preferences when it comes to where they like to nest. For example, some birds prefer to nest in trees while others prefer the eaves of a roof. So you need to make sure that you position your bird houses in places that are suitable for the bird species that are common in your area and that you wish to attract to your yard.
Likewise, many bird species are particular about the size and shape of their nesting cavity. For example, some birds like a certain size of entrance hole while others will insist on a sloping roof. The materials that the bird house is made from will also be a factor, as will the smell. Most birds will stay well clear of a bird house that smells of paint, for example.
Another mistake people make, especially when they make their own bird houses but it’s also true of many commercial bird houses, is to have a perch too close to the entrance hole. Perches close to the hole will attract predators as they can easily sit on the perch and reach into the hole to steal eggs and babies. And the birds know this only too well so they won’t often use a bird house such as this. So avoid bird houses with perches near the entrance hole.
Many people think they’re doing a good thing and helping the birds by leaving old, leftover nests in their bird houses. But many birds would rather create a new nest from scratch and so they’ll avoid houses that are full of old nesting material as this just makes it harder for them. So always clean out your bird houses.
If you’re having trouble attracting birds to your bird houses, make sure you’re not making any of the bird house mistakes described in this article. Take the time to learn which species are common in your location, and choose the type and location of your bird houses accordingly. And remember, the better you know and understand the birds in your area, the better you can provide a nice, safe haven for them.