In nature, bluebirds choose to build their nests in cavities in dead trees. Pretty simple. Since we homeowners don’t leave too many dead trees standing in our yards, we’re lucky that bluebirds happily move into man-made bluebird houses. But how to choose? The array of bluebird houses available these days is amazing. They range from the plain wooden box to the highly decorative bluebird mansion. In terms of aesthetics, what we choose matters more to us than to the birds. When you’re shopping from the birds’ point of view, you might want to consider a few of these features:
Choose a house that suits their needs and fits your backyard plans.
The entry hole size is the first thing to think about. Entry holes are typically either 1-1/2 inch or 1-9/16 inches round in diameter. The Eastern Bluebirds prefer the smaller size, while the Western and Mountain Bluebirds like the larger holes. You can also find oval holes and even rectangular slots, which are believed to discourage House Sparrows.
Just like our own homes, bluebird houses need to have good ventilation and drainage but should stay nice and dry inside.
It should be easy to clean out after the nesting season, so look for a house where the top, side, or front panel opens for easy access. This is even more important if you want to monitor the nest.
Pine, cedar, and man-made materials, such as the recycled “plastic lumber” used in many of our eco-houses are all excellent materials. The plastic is more sanitary — less likely to harbor bacteria and parasites from year to year. Avoid pressure-treated wood, which can be extremely toxic.
Some birdhouses come with mesh floor inserts to help keep the baby birds free of blowfly larvae.
Look for a house with a built-in predator guard to keep snakes, raccoons, cats, and other climbing animals from reaching into the nest box. Whether mounted on the inside or outside of the box, this is a critical component.
Does this sound overwhelming? It doesn’t need to be! The well-named Ultimate Bluebird House is a perfect example of what a bluebird house should be. It’s available in natural pine or in soft colored recycled plastic. Duncraft’s own Eco-Friendly Bluebird House also offers everything the modern bluebird family looks for in their dream home. If these don’t appeal to you, we can offer a choice from over thirty other houses with enough variety in color, shape, and style to suit any bird lover.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions! Our customer service staff are trained to assist you with questions about your backyard birds. Give us a call at 1-888-879-5095 or send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you. Happy Birding!
By Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses
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