To review the May newsletter CLICK HERE
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors! encore azalea Dramm
Visit our Sponsors and win.
GardenSMART :: Nest Boxes

Nest Boxes

By Pennington Wild Bird Club
Photographs courtesy of Pennington Wild Bird Club

In winter, long before songbirds start nesting, they use nest boxes for nighttime roosting. And some winter birds will start looking over possible nest sites long before they actually start breeding. Early March can be the ideal time to get birdhouses out, before migrants return and while year-round residents are first searching out nest sites. Some wintering birds may even make use of birdhouses for nighttime roosting.

GardenSMART Article Image

Downy Woodpecker

Bird feeding stores may sell birdhouses, and some local bird clubs sell houses built by volunteers for fundraising. You can also build your own: plans and tips for where to place them to attract different species are available from many state's natural resources departments. A great book with detailed instructions that may be available in your library is Carrol Henderson's Woodworking for Wildlife, published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

GardenSMART Article Image

Not all users of bird boxes are birds (deer mouse)

Be very careful not to set out houses for screech owls and other predators near where you've set out houses for tinier birds. Also, it's wisest not to encourage or foster house sparrows in birdhouses. Many people treasure these little birds, but birds native to America are not equipped to compete with the more aggressive introduced house sparrow, and when we subsidize house sparrows with housing, we boost their numbers, with tragic results for bluebirds and other native species. European starlings are another introduced species that wreaks havoc on red-headed woodpeckers, bluebirds, etc. You can learn some tips for keeping those European species out of nest boxes on Nestwatch's website at


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:

Back to Articles List                               

GardenSMART Featured Article

Article and photos courtesy of Wayside Gardens

Gardening in small spaces can be a delightful challenge. Click here for an interesting article that provides expert tips and plant recommendations.

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.